There are five main schemes provided by Wessex Water to customers that need help with their water bills. Some offer the family a discount on their service, and other schemes that will reduce any debt on the account over the course of time. In addition to direct financial assistance, the Social Policy Team is always willing to offer payment plans or provide other solutions.
More information on each of the Wessex Water schemes is below. In addition to the summaries, the best place to ring to apply for help is 0800 528 3838, which is the telephone number for the Bristol Wessex Billing Services (BWBSL) social policy team.
Customers in arrears on their water bills, and that are in debt, can apply for the Restart and Restart Plus scheme. The account can be cleared in as short a period of time as two years, with a large portion of the assistance being provided in the first year.
The two schemes are very similar. The first option from Wessex Water in Restart. If the struggling customer keeps up with paying their monthly bills on time for one year, then BWBSL will ensure that there are additional credits placed on the account that is equal to those payments that were made. But Restart will also offer additional aid into year 2 as well, and the approach is the same. If the customer pays all of the bills on time they will be given an additional debt reduction for that second year too.
The second option is Restart Plus. This combines the debt reduction indicated above along with a payment plan from Wessex Water. In general it makes the amount of support given more generous as the payments from the customer will be more affordable.
Wessex Water Assist combines a reduced monthly bills will free budgeting and other debt advice, including for credit cards, auto or payday loans, housing, and more. The assistance is only for people in an extreme financial hardship. So it can be for anyone that lost their job to a redundancy, customers living in fuel poverty, and others. One benefit of assist is the aid is also normally combined with other schemes including restart.
Customers in short term financial hardship can apply for the Wessex Water flexible payment plan. It gives the individual a short term reduction in their payments. The amount due on the monthly bills will be lower than standard, then over time the payment will go back up to a regular rate. The aim is to help the Wessex Water user time to resolve the hardship on their own.
Enhanced WaterSure Plus is a scheme from Wessex Water that goes beyond what is offered by other companies in England. In general, the aid is for people on benefits, if they have a water meter, and that have children under the age of 19. The customer will be given a lower monthly bill.
One benefit of this service is the council’s support it too. They partner with Wessex Water on the applications and ensure that the correct families get the aid. The council will also offer the customer other forms of financial assistance or counseling during this time, ranging from job programs to government grants and more.
Meters and water saving devices are also available as well. Both of the services are done for free. The meter is usually helpful to people that live in a high rateable value. The other option, the water as well as energy saving devices, are good for cutting back on usage. This will result in the Wessex Water customer saving money over time.
For more information on any of these Wessex Water schemes, ring the BWBSL Social Policy Team at 0800 528 3838.