Millions of utility customers are struggling to pay their utility bills. We estimate that over 5 million customers are in water poverty and struggling to afford the water they need for their daily lives, with 2 million of these in severe water poverty. NEA therefore welcomes Ofwat’s review of their guidance for water companies to help domestic customers pay their bill, access help, and repay debts. This principles-based approach is well-aligned with the recent outcomes of the CCW Affordability Review, and learns from Ofwat’s recent #ListenCareShare research, by setting out minimum service expectations covering how customers pay their bills, how they access support when needed, and how the debt management process is managed. This approach is an excellent step forward, and sets the pace for implementing the remaining recommendations that were made to Ofwat within the recent Affordability Review, for PR24, and beyond.
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