Severn Trent to help struggling families pay their water bills

Severn Trent launches £30m fund to help struggling low-income families pay their water bills

Severn Trent has launched a £30million fund to help low-income families struggling to pay their water bills. 

The scheme is expected to cut the bills of 100,000 customers by up to 90 per cent and aims to support 315,000 customers by 2025. 

‘As cost of living pressures continue, we’re acting now,’ said Severn Trent boss Liv Garfield. 

£30m fund: Severn Trent boss Liv Garfield says the money will help low income families

She added: ‘We don’t want anybody in our region feeling nervous about their water bill arriving.’ 

Management consultant CEPA says 6.5 per cent of households – around 1.5m – are in water poverty, meaning they spend more than 5 per cent of their income after housing costs on water bills. 

But Severn Trent sparked anger with its plans to pay around £154million in dividends to investors. 

The water supplier for an area stretching from the Cotswolds to Lincolnshire, reported a profit for the year of £506million, up 7.5 per cent on last year, while revenues climbed 6.4 per cent to £1.9billion. 

Separately, the water industry regulator Ofwat yesterday called on firms to do more. Its guidance requires them to help resolve problems without resorting to enforcement action to recover debts. 

Firms are also compelled to offer flexible payment options. Ofwat director Emma Kelso said: ‘We want companies to continue to go above and beyond for customers.’