Am I able to talk to someone face to face about the support you offer?
Absolutely. We have dedicated WaterCare advisors who are able to visit you at home to talk you through the options available to you, as well as helping you complete any application form that you need to send to us. Please contact us if this would be helpful for you.
Our WaterCare advisors are often out and about in the South West at job centres, social housing centres and other events. Please do chat to us if you need help with your bill as we’re always happy to help.
Are there any support tariffs to help me lower my bills?
If you receive certain benefits or tax credits and use a lot of water, you may be eligible for a special tariff called WaterSure which would mean a lower bill if you qualify.
Help is available if you have a water meter or pay the multi-occupancy assessed charge and face particular difficulties paying your bill because you use a lot of water for essential purposes.
Eligibility for the tariff is set nationally by the Government. To qualify for WaterSure you must be receiving one or more of the following benefits:
Income Support, Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit (unless you’re only receiving the family element), Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.
The person receiving the benefit must also have either three or more children under the age of 19 normally living with them for whom they receive child benefit, or have someone in the household who suffers from a medical condition that requires them to use a significant amount of extra water.
To find out more please visit our WaterSure page or to apply download an application form below.
If you have a water meter you may qualify for help with your bill if you’re on a very low income and you or someone in your household receives one or more of the following means-tested benefits:
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit (guaranteed element)
- Universal Credit (housing element)
To find out more please visit our WaterCare page or to apply download an application form below.
Can you help me use less water and save money?
Being water wise could help you save money on your water and energy bills and will also mean you are doing your bit for the environment too. For information and advice on how to save water, devices to help you save money and online tools to help you compare your water usage please visit our water saving page.
Using a water meter could also help you to use less water as well.
What other schemes are available to me?
The South West Water WaterCare+ scheme
WaterCare+ is a scheme to help you if you’re trying to pay by:
- Checking you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to
- Making sure you’re on the right tariff for the lowest possible water bill
- Carrying out a home water and energy audit and suggesting simple ways to reduce your water and energy use
- Fixing dripping taps or leaking cisterns and installing simple water-saving devices
Water Direct – payments from benefits
The Water Direct Scheme is run together with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The Scheme is designed to help you if your water charges are in arrears and you receive one of the following income-related benefits:
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
If your account is at least £50 in arrears, the scheme allows you to pay a fixed amount towards your charges directly from your benefit. Like many other customers, this may help you with budgeting and managing your water bills.
The South West Water FreshStart fund
The FreshStart fund is available to assist you if you’re looking for help with water debt because you’re new to debt or are dealing with an extraordinary life event and would benefit from immediate clearance of your water debt or short-term help with bills.
This fund will give you the time and financial assistance to help you adjust to these new circumstances – for example, if you’re left with debt following the death of a partner, unemployment, relationship breakdown or illness.
We fund FreshStart, which is administered by Plymouth Citizens Advice Bureau. They’ll be able to offer help and advice to suit your personal circumstances and your water debt.
If you have significant water debt that you can’t repay but you can afford your ongoing water bills, Restart might help you.
To find out more about any of the schemes that we offer, please contact us.
What should I do if I think my bill is wrong?
If you think that you’re not responsible for a bill we send you, or if you think that the bill amount is wrong, please contact our Accounts Helpline on 0344 346 1010 immediately. We’ll look into the matter and try to resolve it with you and any recovery action for outstanding charges will be suspended while we try to resolve matters.
Would I save money if I had a water meter?
The majority of our customers believe that metering is the fairest way to charge for water and wastewater services, and it may reduce your bill. It is free of charge and if you do decide to switch you have 24 months following a meter being installed to decide whether you wish to remain on metered charges going forward. To find out more please visit our water meter page.
How can we help?
Use the FAQ search to quickly find what you are looking for...
How much water does an average person use?
The national average annual usage figures have been taken from The Consumer Council for Water and are listed below: Yearly water use in Cubic Metres m3 Number of people living in your home Low use Average use High...
How do I apply for a job with South West Water?
Please complete the application form and equal opportunities form prior to the closing date. We don’t accept application by post or CV unless this is requested as part of a reasonable adjustment under the Equality Act. Further information on careers at South West...
Do you have any job vacancies?
Please see our Careers page for current vacancies, student placements, graduate development programme and apprenticeships.
Should I replace my lead pipes?
We would encourage you to consider replacing lead pipes and any associated plumbing fittings (including solder joints or valves) that may contain lead. We advise that you buy from reputable suppliers and check that the materials you are purchasing are approved by the...
Can I change my payment plan?
The easiest way to change your payment plan is to talk to us so that we can advise you of the range of options available and make sure you're on the most suitable payment plan. We can arrange a call back to do this. Please complete the details in our Arrange a free call...
Can I view a copy of my bill?
Yes, you can view your bill online at MyAccount. If you need a paper copy, we’ll call you back to arrange to send this within the next week. Please complete the details in our Arrange a free call back section on the right.
Why has my payment plan increased?
The main reasons why your payment plan has increased are: You might have higher consumption over the last 12 months There’s an outstanding amount on your bill You may have previously been in credit which has now decreased There may have been a delay in the date of your...
How is my metered bill calculated?
Your bill is made up of a fixed charge and a variable charge. Fixed charge - This covers our costs for supplying water and taking away and treating used water. Volume charge - This is based on the amount of water you use in cubic metres. 5% allowance is given for the...