Need a little extra help . . . .


Need a little extra help?

We understand that life’s ups and downs can have an effect on the money we have to pay our bills.

That is why we are dedicated to providing affordable bills to all of our customers based on your ability to pay.

We can now offer lower bills to more customers, where the annual household income is under £16,105 each year and your annual water bill is 3% or more of your annual net household income.

You can start your application process today by sending us an email to

My annual household income is under £16,105, do I qualify for a discount?

We can offer a discount of up to 50% where the annual household income is less than £16,105, and the water bill is 3% or more of the annual net household income.

An explanation of household and net income is shown below.

To work out your bill percentage, divide the amount of your annual bill by your annual net income and multiply by 100.


£400  ÷ £12,000  x 100 3.3%  Yes 
£350  ÷ £14,000  x 100 2.5%  No 

We would be happy to calculate this figure for you if it helps, please email us with your customer account number, income information and housing amounts for us to check for you.

If you meet our eligibility criteria and would like to apply, please provide us with proof of your entire household income. This includes any:

  • income from benefits (including housing benefit)
  • salary (3 months wage slips)
  • pension

In addition, please provide proof of your monthly rent or mortgage payment (this could be 3 months bank statements, benefit award letters, tenancy agreement or a mortgage statement).

If you receive Universal Credit, we need to see the full breakdown of the payment you get. You can get your full breakdown by clicking "see details of Universal Credit payment" on your latest online statement.

Please provide copies of your documents as original documents are not returned.

Email this to us at or alternatively post it to Northumbrian Water, Customer Centre, PO Box 300, Durham DH1 9WQ. (Please remember to quote your 10 or 12 digit customer account number on all correspondence).

Once we are in receipt of your application, we will contact you to advise how best we can help.

Household income
All income received by everyone living in the property. This includes any income from benefits (including housing benefit), salary and pension. The following benefits do not need to be included :- disability living allowance, personal independence payment and attendance allowance.

Net household income
All income received by everyone living in the same property as the applicant after housing costs* and any payments received for council tax benefit, has been taken away.

*mortgage or rent payments and support for mortgage interest.

I’m struggling to pay my household bills

We have two schemes available to our customers who are struggling to pay their household bills.

Reduced Tariff
We could reduce your current water bill by as much as 50%.

Arrears Support
We may be able to write off a proportion of your water debt over a 2 year period.

It is really easy to apply for our schemes. There are no forms to complete all you need to do is contact an independent third party debt advice provider for a free confidential financial assessment. Please see the link for Third Party Advice with all of the contact details.

They will provide you with a personal budget plan. Please send this to us to see if you qualify. You can email your document to us at, or click on the button below or alternatively post it.

You will need to apply for a reduction every year, even if your circumstances remain the same. To renew we would need your up to date income and expenditure details and proof of your current income.

I’m thinking about a water meter to save money

A water meter can save you money and they are usually free to install.

You can apply online here.

Please use our online calculator to find out how much money you could save by switching.

I’m on water meter and use lots of water due to an illness or large family

We may be able to help you if someone in your household receives certain benefits or tax credits.

The qualifying benefits are:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Working tax credit
  • Child tax credit (other than just the family element)
  • Income based employment and support allowance

In addition to receiving these benefits:

  • you, or someone in your household, must also have a medical condition that involves high water use, and/or
  • you must have three or more children under the age of 19.

Please email for an application form, or download the form below.

I would like to pay my bill directly from my benefit

You may find it easier to pay your water bill directly from your benefits. We may be able to take a lower amount weekly from your benefit. Are you in receipt of one of the following benefits?

• Income Support
• Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
• Income Based Employment and Support Allowance
• Pension credit
• Universal credit

We can apply for Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) to take a regular amount from your benefit and pay it directly to us.

You need to be in arrears with your water bills for us to make the application.

Current charges are paid along with your arrears by a weekly deduction from your current benefit.

You will also qualify for an annual discount of up to £7.50 - that’s £3.75 for water and £3.75 for sewerage.

The quickest and easiest way to apply is to complete our online application form: Click here to apply and we will do the rest for you.

I pay my water charges as part of my rent, am I eligible for your support schemes?

We have an agreement with the following organisations to offer our reduced tariff and up to 50% reduction on your water bill.

• Darlington Council
• Coast and Country
• Gateshead Council
• Living Housing

If you pay your rent to one of the listed organisations, it is really easy to apply.

All you need to do is contact an independent third party debt advice provider for a free confidential financial assessment.

You will get an individual budget plan, please send this to us to see if you qualify. Your housing association or council may be able to provide this service for you.

You can email your document to us at or alternatively post it.

Please contact us on 0800 121 4608 if you pay to another organisation, and we will contact them directly to discuss eligibility.

Frequently asked questions about our reduced tariff and arrears support

How much do I have to pay?
This will depend on your financial circumstances, the amount owed and how much we can reduce your bill by. We can reduce bills every year by a maximum of 50%.

How long does my reduction last?
Your reduction will last for twelve months from the date your application is complete.

Can I get help with my arrears and a reduced current charge?
Yes, you may qualify for both.

Do I have to send in any documents?
Yes, we need your personal budget plan from your independent debt advice and proof of your income. This can be a copy of your last 3 months wage slips or benefit entitlement letter or bank statement.

Can I apply for your tariffs again?
You can apply for a reduction to your current charges every year. Help with your water debt is a once only opportunity.

If my circumstances change, will the help stop?
Once you have been accepted onto the scheme any reduction will continue until your renewal is due, even if your circumstances change.

What happens if I don’t pay my reduced monthly amounts?
Please talk to us if you are struggling to pay your reduced bill. Additional support may stop if regular payments are not made.

I am not on benefits, can I apply?
Yes, our additional support is based on your household disposable income. If you are working, retired or receiving benefits we may be able to help.

Can I get help with my application?
Yes, you can nominate a third party to make the application on your behalf.

Can I apply online?
You can email your documents to us at

Other additional support

We can provide bills and literature in Braille , large print and audio. Deaf and hard hearing customers can contact us using Text Relay – just prefix any of our listed numbers with 18001 and a Text Relay operator will join the call. We have a wide range of other services available. Click here to find out more.

Downloadable content

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    Water without the worry

    Giving you that extra support when you need it.


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    Managing debt

    Our code of practice: The collection of debt for domestic customers.


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    WaterSure assistance programme

    Water without the worry.


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    WaterSure application form

    For the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.


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Get in touch

Contact us  

Email us at or call us on 0345 733 5566. Lines are open 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 8am-1pm Saturday. Get in touch

Priority Services


We have a wide range of services designed for customers who may need extra help. Find out more

Live chat

customer centre advisor  

Live chat is available 8am to 5:30pm Mon - Fri and 8am to 12:30pm Sat. Find out more

Online Debt Remedy Tool


Free, confidential help with water arrears and debt problems. Expert debt help in seconds! Find out more

Third party advice


You can contact an independent third party debt advice provider for a free confidential financial assessment. Find out more

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