Yorkshire Water supports customers in debt
- Yorkshire Water will cover 60 days of charges for customers on the Breathing Space scheme
- “Sends a clear message [to customers] that their water company is on their side” says Consumer Council for Water
In an industry leading initiative, Yorkshire Water will support customers on the government’s Breathing Space scheme, by not only freezing debt action but also covering all charges from the company during the 60-day debt respite period.
Breathing Space was introduced by the government in 2020 and gives people ‘debt respite’ – a 60-day period in which they cannot be contacted by any creditors. Breathing Space gives consumers time to engage with debt support. The scheme has been praised for supporting consumers’ mental health and aiding debt management.
Yorkshire Water will now cover customer charges during the 60-days, meaning the customers’ debt will not have increased during the Breathing Space period. This announcement comes as part of a series of measures the water company is taking to help its customers who may be struggling with the current cost of living increase, including a £15m package funded by shareholders.
The move has been supported by the Consumer Council for Water (CCW). Steve Grebby, policy manager for CCW, said: “Dealing with debt can be enormously overwhelming and isolating, which is why we’re delighted to see Yorkshire Water’s shareholders funding this additional support for customers in crisis.
“Giving customers this additional breathing room, while also covering their charges, will provide them not only with much-needed peace of mind while they try and access support but also sends a clear message that their water company is on their side.”
Angie Markham-Nock, customer support manager for Yorkshire Water, said: “We’re really pleased to be able to offer this additional support to our customers that are struggling with debt. We know that debt can have a huge impact on mental health and with the cost of living rising, it’s a really difficult time for a lot of people. Our customers that are granted Breathing Space through the government portal will automatically see their payments covered during that period.
“If customers are worried about paying their bill or want more information on ways to reduce it, visit https://www.yorkshirewater.com/bill-account/help-paying-your-bill/ "