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Helping you with issues with your drinking water
We understand how stressful it can be when bills start to mount up. We always try to make it as easy as possible for you to understand and pay your bill, but for those who are struggling to keep up with the payments, we do offer several services to help you out.
Please take a look at all our schemes below to find out how we can help you.
Launched back in August 1995, the Yorkshire Water Community Trust was set up primarily to help those individuals and families in real need, who are unable to pay their water charges to Yorkshire Water.
The principal aims of the Trust are:
1. To enable applicants to break the cycle of debt and to resolve their debt problems in the long term
2. To help Yorkshire Water customers who are in conditions of need and are unable to meet or pay charges for the supply of water and sewerage removal
3. To make donations to charitable or other institutions as the trustees, in their absolute discretion, think fit
4. To play a role in the establishment of trust funds throughout the water industry
Each year the board of Kelda Group allocate a set amount, which is put into the Trust for the trustees to make awards to deserving customers who have fallen into arrears with their water services charges.
In order to receive monetary assistance, customers must make a formal application to the Trust. Each application is then considered on a case by case basis and the Trust will look to give priority to those who are in the greatest need.
Any monies/awards granted are paid onto the customer's account with Yorkshire Water (no cash is given directly to the customer).
What do you mean by multiple priority debt situation?
You should have water arrears and at least one other priority debt with could be for Rent, Mortgage, Council Tax, Gas or Electricity.
How much will I get?
We decide how much to give you after looking at your application.
How do you decide who to help?
We use the information you give us on your application form to decide who to help. We target those in the greatest need first.
Can I apply every year?
No, if you receive an award from the Trust you cannot apply again for 2 years from that date. Even then you should not assume that you will automatically be successful again, the Trustees will at least require evidence that you have made regular payments to Yorkshire Water since this award.
Do you give private and personal details to other organisations?
All information is strictly confidential.
How will I get any money you agree to give to me?
We will pay the money into your account with Yorkshire Water.
We've recently launched a new scheme called WaterSupport to help customers who are on lower incomes to pay their water bills. If you're on a low household income and your annual water bill is more than £420 then you may be eligible for help from WaterSupport to reduce the amount you pay.
Applying is easy. All you need to do is call us on 0345 1 24 24 24 and ask to speak to the Customer Support team. They'll advise you if WaterSupport is the best tariff for you and if not advise you on other ways to reduce your bill or spread your payments.
You'll need to provide details of your household income to see if you're eligible, so make sure this information is close at hand before calling
Many households benefit from having a water meter but some suffer because they need to use large quantities of water for essential purposes, such as a medical condition. These households may be eligible to receive help with their bill through our WaterSure scheme
WaterSure ensures that you'll receive help if you need it. Your bill will be capped at the average company rate, so you won't be charged for any water you use over and above this.
Who is eligible to claim for assistance?
If you answer yes to any of the questions in section 1 and yes to either of the questions in section 2, you may qualify for the WaterSure scheme.
Does anyone in your household receive one of the following income-based benefits?
Working Tax Credit Yes/No
Child Tax Credit (excluding family element) Yes/No
Pension Credit Yes/No
Income Support Yes/No
Income Based Job Seekers Allowance Yes/No
Income Related Employment Support Allowance Yes/No
Housing Benefit Yes/No
Universal Credit Yes/No
Does anyone in your household suffer from a diagnosed medical condition which results in increased water usage (e.g. abdominal stoma, Crohn's disease, incontinence, skin diseases or ulcerative colitis)?
Does the person who receives the benefit or tax credit listed in section 1 also receive child benefit for three or more children under the age of 19 in the household and do they get child benefit for these children?
If you receive Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), Employment Support Allowance (ESA) or Pension Credit it may be possible that we can arrange for you to pay your water service charges directly from your benefits by joining the Water Direct Scheme. A payment will be taken from your benefit to cover your arrears and ongoing charges.
This will ensure you no longer have to make payments yourself whilst in arrears and that no recovery action will be issued for the arrears that are owed.
The scheme allows customers who have a minimum of £70.00 arrears to pay a fixed amount towards their charges directly from their benefit. This helps many customers with budgeting and managing their water bills.
Please call us on 0345 1299 299 to confirm your eligibility for this scheme and get the application process started, or alternatively why not try and live chat with us.
Our Resolve Scheme is another way we can help you pay your bill if you're having difficulty paying and have arrears from previous years.
The Resolve Scheme is there to support you and requires a commitment from you to make regular payments over a 12 month period. If you can show that commitment we'll then make awards towards your water arrears.
To qualify for the Resolve Scheme you must be on a low income or non deductible benefits and in arrears of over 12 months.
Alternatively, if you're on Jobseekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support or Pension Credit, we may be able to arrange for money to be deducted from your benefit and paid directly to us.
If you think you’ll have a problem paying your bill, please contact us on 0345 1 299 299. We’re open 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 3pm Saturdays.
We can discuss the best way for you to pay your bills and you may be able to pay weekly, fortnightly or monthly in certain circumstances. Providing you keep to this agreed arrangement no debt recovery action will be taken or default registered with a Credit Reference Agency.
Should you experience difficulty in making payments because you’re housebound due to any illness or disability, please contact us for help and advice. We deal with each case in confidence and with sensitivity.
You may also wish to get free independent advice from the National Debt Line by calling 0808 808 4000, Step Change on 0800 138 1111 or online at stepchange.org or from organisations in your area such as:
• Citizens Advice Bureau.
• Local money advice centres.
Visit the citizens advice website or find your nearest branch listed in your local BT phonebook, Yellow Pages or Thomson directory.
Find out more about the free services we offer for elderly customers and anyone with sight or hearing difficulties or a serious medical condition.
Our aim is to reach an agreement with you to make paying your bill easier.
We can’t reduce the amount you have to pay, but we’ll try to find an arrangement that suits you and helps you pay your bill within a reasonable length of time. If you can commit to an arrangement to pay your bill within the financial year it is due and payments are made on time, this would not affect your credit score. However, if payment terms go beyond the financial year we will register this with a Credit Reference Agency as ‘paying by arrangement’ which may affect your credit score. However, if you keep to your arrangement, no default will be filed. We’ll also look for the best way for you to pay your bill in the future.
If you’re receiving certain benefits, you may be eligible for help.
In particular: If you’re on Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support or Pension Credit, we may arrange for money to be deducted from your benefit and paid directly to us. Please contact us on 0345 1 299 299
If you’re working, on a low wage and have a dependent family, you may be entitled to Working Families Tax Credit. You can get an application form by calling the Tax Credits helpline on 0345 300 3900 or visit direct.gov.uk for more information.
If you’re a pensioner and are on a low income, you may be entitled to Pension Credit or other benefits. Please contact the Pension Credit Helpline on 0800 99 1234 or visit direct.gov.uk.
For advice and information you may also find it helpful to contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau or visit citizensadvice.org.uk. It’s important to tell us if you’re receiving any benefits or you’ve approached other organisations for help. If Social Services, the Department for Work and Pensions, JobCentre Plus or an advisory group such as Citizens Advice ask us to withhold action while they look into your case, we’ll agree to do so.
Our aim is to reach an agreement to help make paying your bill easier. We can't reduce the amount you've to pay but we'll try and find a way that suits you and helps you pay your bill within a reasonable length of time. We'll also look at how you can pay your bill in the future.
If you don't pay your bill or keep to a payment arrangement, we'll take the following steps:
We’ll contact you no less than 14 days after the due date, giving you at least 7 days to pay the outstanding amount. If you haven’t kept to a payment arrangement, we’ll consider another at this point, but we’ll need a down payment or an understanding of your income and expenditure (or financial circumstances).
If, after the 7 day period, you still don’t contact us or pay, we will consider the following actions:
• Change your credit record which is held by Credit Reference Agencies to reflect a late payment.
• Issue a County Court Claim and add the legal costs to your bill.
• Apply to the county court to ask for a judgment to be entered against you.
• Change your credit record with Credit Reference Agencies to show a default, when payment is not made in full
If we do not receive a response from you, we will normally apply for a judgement to be entered. If you receive a County Court Claim you have the following options:
• Pay the balance in full.
• Admit the debt and offer to pay by instalments – this is enforced by a County Court Judgment.
• Dispute the claim by returning the claim to the Defence Court for consideration.
Only one unsettled default will be filed against a customer at any one time, for any one account. Further debt will be posted against the existing default. In cases where a customer subsequently defaults after settling a debt, a second default may be recorded.
A default and a judgment would be separately registered with Credit Reference Agencies and could affect your “credit worthiness”. This may prevent you obtaining credit, a mortgage or loan in the future. These remain on your credit record for up to 6 years.
A judgment could be enforced through the County Court.
• If you’re working, we could ask your employer to deduct money from your wages.
• We might instruct the bailiffs to seize your belongings and sell them at an auction.
• We might apply for a High Court Writ which may also result in a bailiff seizing your belongings.
• If you own your home, we could ask the court to place a charge against the property. This means if you sell or re-mortgage your home, the money you owe to us will automatically be deducted and paid to us.
• We may refer your debt to a specialist Debt Collection Agency, which will collect your outstanding balance on our behalf. We’ll let you know, if we decide to do this. The agency will operate within the Credit Services Association (CSA) code and meet our high standards of service. If you have a complaint against a Debt Collection Agency working on our behalf, please contact us. We may also consider obtaining data from Credit Reference Agencies to help us to decide what action to take.
At each stage of our debt recovery process we will clearly communicate the consequences of moving to the next stage. We don’t want to have to resort to any of these actions, so please contact us immediately, if you think you cannot pay. Please note: if you don’t keep to an agreed payment arrangement, the full balance on your account will become payable, and we’ll therefore take action to collect this amount, not just the instalments that you’ve missed.
Any payment made will be allocated to your oldest outstanding balance.
Information on your account will be sent to Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs). If you owe us money and, when requested, do not repay in full and on time, CRAs will record the outstanding debt. If we consider that your account is in default we will notify you and if you don’t pay us we’ll report the unpaid debt to CRAs. This information may be supplied to other organisations by CRAs and Fraud Prevention Agencies (FPAs) to perform similar checks, and to trace your whereabouts if you’ve moved without advising a forwarding address, so that they can recover debts that you owe. Records remain on file for 6 years after they are closed, whether settled by you or defaulted.
Take a look at our position on what help we offer customers in need.
Yorkshire Water’s five million customers will benefit from lower bills and better services over the next five years, the industry’s regulator, Ofwat, confirmed today (Friday, December 12th)Read more...
If you don’t think you should pay the bill, or if you dispute the amount, you must tell us within 7 days of receiving it. Don’t wait until we’ve issued a County Court Claim against you, as you may still have to pay the legal costs. We can only help you if we know about it.
If you contact us, we’ll withhold action, whilst we investigate your complaint.
As your account performance is being registered with a Credit Reference Agency we will also inform them that your account is under query.
If you live in rented accommodation, it’s not always easy to see who is legally responsible for the bill. Our water charges have to be paid. This is usually by the person who lives in the property and uses the water. Unless your landlord has entered into an agreement with us, in writing, accepting responsibility for our charges, this means you.
If you believe your landlord is responsible for the bill and, owing to their non-payment, we start to take recovery action against you, or if your bill is for a previous tenant, please call us straight away.
Please contact us, if you’d like to discuss the best way for you to pay your bill or if you’d like to arrange an instalment plan.
Should you experience difficulty in making payments because you’re housebound due to illness or disability, please contact us for help and advice.
Please take a look at our paying your bill section for further information on our different payment methods.
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