Ofwat calls on water firms to support struggling customers

The water regulator has urged companies to deal sensitively with people with money issues

Ofwat has published new guidelines for water companies to help customers pay bills, get help and repay debts.

The new guidance covers areas, including companies’ requirement to offer more flexible payment options for customers on irregular incomes and zero hours contracts.

Water firms are also required to “talk sensitively” with customers struggling to pay to understand their circumstances and resolve problems without needing to take debt recovery action.

The water regulator has also urged water firms to use more complaints, data and research to make improvements to the services they provide.

Emma Kelso, Senior Director at Ofwat, said: “Many customers were struggling before the pandemic, and the current cost of living pressures are squeezing household incomes even further.

“We were pleased to see water companies step up their support during the height of the pandemic and now that many more households are likely to experience financial difficulty in the coming months, we want companies to continue to go above and beyond for customers.”

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