Help and Contact
Guide to making or receiving payments
We’ve created this guide to provide you with support and guidance about making payments to Severn Trent, the different payment methods available to you and the payments we may make to you.
How to make payments to Severn Trent
There are several ways you can make payments to us. You can choose the payment method that bests suits your needs, from the range of different payment options below:
- Online credit or debit card payment – this is a quick, simple and secure method. You can quickly make a card payment using your online account. You can REGISTER FOR AN ONLINE ACCOUNT if you haven’t already got one, or you can MAKE A CARD PAYMENT AS A GUEST.
- Pay on your smartphone using Barclays PingIt – if you’re a non-Direct Debit customer, you can pay your bill using the Barclays Pingit app on your smartphone.
- Pay by Direct Debit – you can pay by Direct Debit quickly and easily. This is the most convenient way to make sure your bill is always paid in full and on time. You can choose the date, frequency and discuss the amount you pay with us, this ensures your payment is sent to us each time without you having to worry about it.
- Pay by Standing Order – you can set up and manage your payments using your bank’s telephone, online, or remote banking services, once you’ve set up your Standing Order you must contact us to let us know your chosen payment date, frequency and payment amount, we’ll then set up a payment plan on your account to match what you’ve set up with your bank, this will stop any further reminders or debt recovery taking place on your account. You must ensure to quote your Severn Trent Water account number as the payment reference so these payments can be applied to your account without delays.
- Pay through your benefits with Water Direct – If you receive Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Pension Credit or Universal Credit, you can apply for Water Direct where payments can
be automatically paid out of your benefits.
- Pay at a PayPoint store – you can pay using a Watercard at your nearest PayPoint store. You can also pay at a PayPoint store using a payment booklet or using the barcode on the giro slip at the bottom of your bill.
- Pay at your bank – if you prefer to pay over the counter at your bank or building society, do not forget to take your bill with you. This service is free at most banks; however, we recommend you always check first.
- Pay at the Post Office – you can take your bill, along with your preferred payment method of either cash or card, to any Post Office to make a payment, please be aware the Post Office may charge you for this service.
- Pay by Post – if you receive paper bills, your bill will arrive with a payment slip attached where you can fill this out and write a cheque for this amount.
- Pay by Phone - you can make regular, or one-off payments over the phone by Debit or Credit card when you call us on 03457 500500.
Setting up and making changes to a payment schedule
The easiest way to keep up with your payment schedule is by paying your bill in regular instalments on a payment plan, this will allow you to manage your bills and help you budget for the future.
You can pick the most convenient day to make your payments, as well as the frequency that suits you e.g. weekly for monthly. Setting a payment plan is really easy, all you need to do is log into Severn Trent account choose what suits you best and let us do the rest.
If you have arranged a regular payment plan with us, you will have received a payment plan schedule either in the post or by email, this is either found on your bill or you may have received a separate letter or email confirming your plan.
If you are finding it hard to keep up with your payment schedule get in touch with us so we can arrange a payment plan that suits you and your financial needs.
We would never advise to cancel or stop payments as this can result in a build-up of debt on your account and generate a negative credit score which could affect your ability to get a loan or service in the future.
Like many other utilities companies, we share your personal data with, and receive your personal data from, Credit Reference Agencies.
This helps us to:
- maintain up-to-date customer records
- prevent fraud and identify customers at risk of falling into debt
- find and help customers who need financial assistance
- manage debt levels and, in turn, keep prices lower for all customers
If you pay your bill on time, sharing your data will also positively impact your credit rating.
There are three Credit Reference Agencies, and we share data with two of these: TransUnion and Equifax.
These companies hold and share information about your previous credit history and payment behaviour.
This will include whether you have paid bills on time and in full in the past. This data is refreshed and updated every month and contributes towards your credit score.
Every month we will share your outstanding balance and a status reflecting your payment behaviour.
If you pay your bills on time and in full, this will be shared each month along with your account balance and a status “0” which tells the Credit Reference Agency that you are up to date.
If you are over one month late in your payment your credit score may be impacted. If your account is one month behind it will be shared as a “1”, two months behind a “2” and so on, up to a 6 for an account that's six months behind on payments.
If you are on an alternative payment plan, for affordability reasons, or to cover debt on the account, you will be reported as an “i” to Credit Reference Agencies. This indicates to the Credit Reference Agency that a non-standard payment arrangement with Severn Trent is active on your account. We report alternative payment plans as a different payment plan to support other businesses make responsible lending choices.
Updating your Direct Debit if you change banks
If you have moved banks via the Current Account Switching service, your new bank will liaise with your old bank and ensure all your Direct Debits and Transactions are still going out as normal.
If you have closed one bank account and moved to another bank account independently, your Direct Debit won’t continue until you advise us of your new Direct Debit details.
Refunding incorrect Direct Debits
We can understand it is frustrating if you find an unexpected bill taken from your account.
To ensure you have this money refunded as soon as possible, we would advise you to contact your bank to make an indemnity claim.
Your payment will be covered under the Direct Debit Guarantee and you will have your money back within 24 hours.
Flexible payment plans if your financial circumstance change
We know that sometimes circumstances occur that mean paying your bills can be difficult.
We do offer flexible payment plans, that are available to help those customers experiencing temporary financial hardship who may not be able to afford our standard payment plan to clear your balance within the financial year.
A flexible payment plan is worked out on an affordability calculator, and is usually an agreed amount to prevent you, as a customer, falling into further arrears.
The plan is set for 3 months and will be reviewed by our Credit Management team and when its due to complete they will try to call you to discuss the plan and your circumstances, with the aim to bring your payment plan back in line with the standard amount.
If we are unable to reach you by phone, we will automatically review and increase your plan by a minimum of 20%, and you’ll receive an email or letter to confirm your new payment amounts.
If you are unable to afford the increased amount, you have 14 days from the issue date to contact us to discuss this in more detail.
Financial help when you need it
If you ever need a helping hand, we have several financial assistance schemes to support you.
- WaterSure – this financial assistance scheme can help you if your income is low and you use a lot of water.
- Big Difference Scheme – this scheme is open to all customers and you can save up to 90% on your bill.
- Severn Trent Trust Fund – this is a charitable trust set up to help Severn Trent customers struggling with their bill.
All these payment options and schemes are available to support and help you manage your payments.
Have a look at all the ways we can help or contact us on WhatsApp, web messaging, social media or get in touch by calling us on 0345 7500 500.
Payment made but your account still shows outstanding amount
If you’ve paid your bill by post or in person, payments can take between 3-5 working days to be processed and allocated to your account.
If you have paid using a Debit or Credit card your payments usually will be updated within 24 hours.
We aim to have all our accounts updated as soon as possible however we know sometimes it can take longer due to system updates, banking errors or large numbers of payments to be processed.
If, after 3 days, your account is still showing that you have an outstanding payment, please contact us.
Problems paying your bill through your benefits
If you are having issues with reconciling your water bill by your benefits payments it may be likely that the DWP be using an incorrect reference number, meaning your payments aren’t being received directly to your account on time.
If this is the case please contact the DWP before getting in touch with us to check what reference number they are using and what amounts are being deducted, this will help us to locate
them to your account.
If you are having multiple deductions for other utilities taken out from your benefits, this may be another reason why we have not received your payments.
You can have up to a maximum of 3 deductions at a time, and the deductions meant for us may have been replaced with another utility as we’re the lowest priority.
Refunds and discounts
Refunds if you overpay
If you’re on a water meter and you are paying by instalments on a payment plan this will automatically forecast your future charges to build credit on your account ahead of your next 6-monthly bill.
Your forecast is based on your average daily consumption of water from the readings we will have taken from your meter.
When you receive your 6-monthly bill, if you are still in a large amount of credit, your payment plan may need reviewing so please contact us.
If you have an existing Severn Trent account and have recently let us know that you’ve moved to a new house within the Severn Trent region, we will usually continue using your existing account number and details and we will review if your payment plan is still suitable.
If you’ve moved to a new house out of the Severn Trent region and your account for your old address is in credit, we will send you a refund within 14 days of us being notified that you have left the property. If you haven’t yet let us know you’ve moved to a new house, please contact us.
- If you’ve been paying us by Direct Debit, then we’ll send the refund directly to your bank account
- If you have paid us by Debit or Credit card, we’ll usually refund it to the same card
- If you have paid us by any other method, or we can’t make a card refund, we will send you a refund by cheque, this can sometimes take up to 28 days
Discounts for single person households
If you live on your own, we recommend that you have a water meter fitted to make sure you pay just for the water you use.
Fitting a meter is the most accurate and fairest way of paying for your water.
If you rent your home, you should check with your landlord if you’d like to have a water meter installed. If they agree, then you can apply to have a meter fitted and we’ll visit you to see if it’s possible to install one at your home. It’s not always possible to fit a water meter.
If we’ve tried and been unable to install a meter at your home in the last 12 months, and you live on your own, you will be eligible for our Single Occupier Assessed Tariff.
If you rent your home and your landlord has not agreed to let you install a water meter, unfortunately you will not be eligible for the Single Occupier Assessed tariff.
You won’t need to apply for the single occupancy tariff, you will be automatically switched to the Single Occupier Assessed tariff from the date of the unsuccessful meter fit at your home.
We unfortunately aren’t able unable to backdate the Single Occupier Assessed tariff to an earlier date.
Discounts or refunds for water supply and quality issues
We work hard every day to make sure our water pressure and water quality are of the highest standard however we know sometimes your water pressure and quality can be impacted by incidents in the area, and can mean our customers may experience temporary poor pressure or quality.
In these instances, when you have been significantly impacted for a period of time, we won’t be able reduce your bill, however we will look to make a payment to your Severn Trent account under our Guaranteed Standards Scheme.
You can read more detail about this in our Code of Practice.
Paying for the clearing of blockages
Clearing blockages in your pipes
Unless you are a plumber or have a drainage background, it can be hard to tell whether a blockage is on your private pipes or the public sewer.
Some of the signs you can look out for to see if the blockage is on your private pipes and therefore the homeowner’s responsibility is:
- Your neighbours aren't affected
- Your toilet upstairs is blocked but downstairs is clear
- The blockage is in the U bend under your sink
If you believe the blockage is likely to be on the public sewer pipes, please contact us and we will be able to help you. For more information about this please refer to our Private Sewer Ownership Guide.
If our engineer attends your property and finds the blockage is on your private pipes, we may be able to clear this for you for a charge of £114 including VAT.
For blockages on your internal pipework/fittings e.g. toilet, sink bath or shower, you’ll need a plumber to clear this. We have a list of WaterSafe approved plumbers who will be able to help you. For blockages on your external drains within the boundary of your property, you will need to contact an independent drainage company.
There is no obligation to use our service and you can choose to go with an independent drainage company. If you do choose to go with an independent drainage company our engineers will leave the site. Unfortunately we cannot re-arrange to come back later to clear a blockage on your private pipes.
If you would like to use our service, please let the engineer know. One of our team will call you within 5 working days of the work being carried out to take payment from you. You can pay in full using either a debit or credit card. If you are unable to pay the balance in full, don’t worry, our team will help you to spread the cost by setting up a monthly Direct Debit payment plan for you.
The blockage clearance service is not always guaranteed. Sometimes if the engineer starts the blockage clearance and then discovers a more complex situation, such as a sewer collapse or roots in the pipes, they may not be able to fully resolve the issue and instead will advise you to contact a private contractor.
If this is the case, you won’t be charged, and no payment will be requested.
Clearing repeat blockages that aren’t your fault
It can be really tough when you have frequent blockages on your private pipework due to a neighbour’s sewer misuse.
We will work hard with you and your neighbours to support any repeat blockages you may have. We will clear blockages when we are at your property, however this will be charged to you at £114.
Should we find that the cause of the blockage is due to a misuse from one of your neighbours we will issue letters and leaflets around the area to raise awareness of sewer blockages and how they can occur.
Blockages affecting you and your neighbours
If both you and your neighbour are experiencing a leak or blockage on your private pipes and you have arranged split the £114 clearance fee.
We would advise that one neighbour pays for this when our engineers on site and you will need to arrange to settle the fee amongst yourselves.
Contact our customer care team
You can get in touch with our customer care team if you have any questions about how we can help you with making payments.