A helping hand at Christmas for Severn Trent customers
Money is often in short supply around the festive season, that’s why Severn Trent Water is offering its customers a number of ways to help them to pay their water bill this Christmas.
And with a recent YouGov report suggesting us Brits will be spending 3.5% less on Christmas this year (compared with 2011), budgeting for utilities bills can help customers find that extra money for gifts and help prevent them struggling to pay bills in January.
Simon Mullan, customer relations manager for Severn Trent Water, said: "With the ongoing economic concerns, it is no surprise that people are cutting back this Christmas. However, if you are struggling to pay your water bill you do have options, and we can help you work out which is the best one for you. Firstly you can set up a payment plan; this can be weekly, fortnightly or even monthly. It means you pay bit by bit through direct debit or by using a water card at local Pay Point outlets."
For those who feel that they are not using much water, choosing a meter could be a more cost effective option because you will only pay for what you use, surface water drainage (rainwater that drains off your property), a sewerage charge and a small standing charge.
Simon said: "Having a water meter fitted for free can be a great way to save money for some customers. There is a meter calculator on our website, www.stwater.co.uk, where you can work out if having a meter will save you money and can apply for a meter to be fitted. Or you simply call 08457 090 646 for more information and to request a copy of our Fitting Meters Free leaflet. Just call us on 08456 022 777 with your National Insurance number or visit www.stwater.co.uk.
"However, for some customers it’s not as simple as setting up a payment plan. If you feel that you need additional support to pay your water bill, you should consider contacting the Severn Trent Trust Fund. This is an independent charity that may be able to help you in the form of a grant to clear part or all of your water charges."
In addition, low income families on a meter who use a lot of water can apply for Watersure, which is a capped charge from Severn Trent. It is intended to help customers who have a water meter, but experience difficulties as a result of high water usage or low income.
Simon explains: "If someone in your house receives benefits and has a medical condition that makes you use more water, or you are on benefits and have three or more children under the age of 19, then you may qualify for this scheme. To find out if you are eligible just call us on 08457 500 500.
"Likewise, if you receive Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance (ESA) or Pension Credit then the Job Centre Plus may be able to arrange for your bill to be paid out of your benefits. You’ll pay a small fixed amount towards your arrears plus an amount for your current charges. The best part is you won’t have to remember to pay us – the Department for Works and Pensions pay us direct – making it easier for you.
"There are many ways we can support our customers to pay their water bill so don’t let it dampen your Christmas. We want to hear from you if you are struggling so we can help."
If you would like further information on any of the bill related services that Severn Trent provide, please call 08457 500 500. For further information about the Trust Fund, contact your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau or Money Advice Centre or write to Freepost, RLZE-EABT-SHSA, Sutton Coldfield, B72 1TJ or call 0121 355 7766 or visit www.sttf.org.uk.