Affordability, Tariffs and Debt Recovery – “tap”

September 27 , 2013


Wessex Water (Wessex) aims for bills to be affordable for their customers and representing value for money. Water is affordable for the great majority of customers but for some, on the lowest incomes, it is not. Wessex launched “tap”, a tailored assistance programme, which brings together a wide range of schemes to help their vulnerable customers afford their ongoing water charges and help them repay their debts, getting them back on track.

 Each customer is assessed individually and the assistance is tailored to meet their needs with more than 12,000 households benefiting from help through the tap scheme in 2013. Wessex delivers much of this assistance through their very strong partnerships with Citizens Advice, the Money Advice Trust and other local debt advice agencies.

In addition Wessex have expanded the social tariff scheme “Assist” – in partnership with Citizens Advice Bureaux they have also introduced WaterSure Plus which has reduced the bills of 3,000 metered customers by £70 per year compared to the government’s WaterSure scheme.

This year Wessex has increased the funding to agencies in the region to acknowledge an increase in the demand for their independent services.

 Jan Westrope, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Bureau for Bath and North East Somerset, said, “We were delighted to receive your support of our money advice provision especially during such uncertain times for charity organisations and people they service.”

 Wessex also recognises that simply helping customers once they are in debt is not enough, so this year Wessex launched their “Money Matters” awards to improve financial literacy and money management skills among young people across their region. Wessex have been asked to take part in a number of Citizens Advice events this year designed to showcase their partnership work as an example of creditor best practice.

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