Need a little extra help . . . .


Need a little extra help . . . .

We understand that life’s ups and downs can have an effect on the money we have to pay our bills.

That is why we are dedicated to providing affordable bills to all of our customers based on your ability to pay.

We can now offer lower bills to more customers, where the annual household income is under £16,105 (£19,201 for customers in a London Borough) and your annual combined water and sewerage bill is greater than 3% of you total household income after housing costs (Rent or mortgage payments).

You can start your application process today by sending us an email to

My annual income is under £16,105, (£19,201 for London Borough) do I qualify for a discount?

We can offer a discount of up to 50% where the annual household income is less than £16,105, (£19,201 for London Borough), and the water bill is 3% or more of the annual net household income.

An explanation of household and net income is shown below. You can also find a list of postcodes for London Boroughs to check which household income amount to use.

To work out your bill percentage, divide the amount of your annual bill by your annual net income and multiply by 100.


£400 ÷ £12,000 x 100 3.3% Yes
£350 ÷ £14,000 x 100 2.5% No

We would be happy to calculate this figure for you if it helps, please email us with your customer account number, income information and housing amounts for us to check for you.

If you meet our eligibility criteria and would like to apply, please provide us with proof of your entire household income. This includes any:

  • salary (3 months wage slips)
  • income from benefits (including housing benefit)
  • pension

If you are on Universal Credit we need to see the full breakdown of the payment you are receiving including all elements. You can get this by clicking ‘see details of Universal Credit payment’ on your latest online statement.

Please provide copies of your documents as original documents are not returned.

Email this to us at or alternatively post it to Northumbrian Water, Customer Centre, PO Box 300, Durham DH1 9WQ. (Please remember to quote your 10 or 12 digit customer account number on all correspondence).

Once we are in receipt of your application, we will contact you to advise how best we can help.

Household income
All income received by everyone living in the property. This includes any income from benefits (including housing benefit), salary and pension. The following benefits do not need to be included :- disability living allowance, personal independence payment and attendance allowance.

Net household income
All income received by everyone living in the same property as the applicant after, housing costs* and any payments received for council tax benefit, has been taken away.

London Borough postcodes
If your postcode is listed below your home is in a London Borough, please use the housing income limit of £19,201.

IG1 IG11 IG2 IG3 IG6
IG8 RM1 RM10 RM12 RM13
RM14 RM2 RM3 RM4 RM5

*mortgage or rent payments and support for mortgage interest.

I′m struggling to pay my household bills

We have two schemes available to our customers who are struggling to pay their household bills.

Reduced Tariff
We could reduce your current water bill by as much as 50%.

Arrears Support
We may be able to write off a proportion of your water debt over a 2 year period.

It is really easy to apply for our schemes. There are no forms to complete all you need to do is contact an independent third party debt advice provider for a free confidential financial assessment. Please see the link for Third Party Advice with all of the contact details.

They will provide you with a personal budget plan. Please send this to us to see if you qualify. You can email your document to us at, or click on the button below or alternatively post it.

You will need to apply for a reduction every year, even if your circumstances remain the same. To renew we would need your up to date income and expenditure details and proof of your current income.

I′m thinking about a water meter to save money

A water meter can save you money and they are usually free to install.

You can apply online.

Please use our online calculator to find out how much money you could save by switching.

I′m on a water meter and use lots of water due to an illness or large family

We may be able to help you if someone in your household receives certain benefits or tax credits.

The qualifying benefits are:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Working tax credit
  • Child tax credit (excluding family element-only)
  • Income based employment and support allowance

If you have a medical condition that means you use a lot of water, or have 3 or more children under the age of 19, you may qualify for the WaterSure scheme which will cap the amount of your annual water bill.

Please email for an application form, alternatively you can download the form below.

I would like to pay my bill directly from my benefit

You may find it easier to pay your water bill directly from your benefits. We may be able to take a lower amount weekly from your benefit. Are you in receipt of one of the following benefits?

• Income Support
• Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
• Income Based Employment and Support Allowance
• Pension credit
• Universal credit

We can apply for Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) to take a regular amount from your benefit and pay it directly to us.

You need to be in arrears with your water bills for us to make the application.

Current charges are paid along with your arrears by a weekly deduction from your current benefit.

You will also qualify for an annual discount of up to £3.75 for water.

The quickest and easiest way to apply is to complete our online application form: Click here to apply and we will do the rest for you.

I pay my water charges as part of my rent, am I eligible for your support schemes?

We have an agreement with the following organisations to offer our reduced tariff and up to 50% reduction on your water bill.

• Darlington Council
• Coast and Country
• Gateshead Council
• Living Housing

If you pay your rent to one of the listed organisations, it is really easy to apply.

All you need to do is contact an independent third party debt advice provider for a free confidential financial assessment.

You will get an individual budget plan, please send this to us to see if you qualify. Your housing association or council may be able to provide this service for you.

You can email your document to us at or alternatively post it.

Please contact us on 0800 121 4608 if you pay to another organisation, and we will contact them directly to discuss eligibility.

Frequently asked questions about our reduced tariff and arrears support

How much do I have to pay?
This will depend on your financial circumstances and the size of your bill. The maximum reduction is 50%.

How long does my discount last?
If you are on a meter your discount will last for one year. If you are unmetered your discount will last until your next annual bill.

Can I get help with my arrears and a reduced current charge?
Yes, you may qualify for both.

Do I have to send in any documents?
Yes, we need your personal budget plan from your independent debt advice and proof of your income. This can be a copy of your last 3 months wage slips or benefit entitlement letter or bank statement.

Can I apply for your tariffs again?
You can apply for a reduction to your current charges every year. Help with your water debt is a once only opportunity.

If my circumstances change will the help stop?
Once you have been accepted onto the scheme any reduction will continue until your renewal is due, even if your circumstances change.

What happens if I don’t pay my reduced monthly amounts?
Please talk to us if you are struggling to pay your reduced bill. Additional support may stop if regular payments are not made.

I am not on benefits can I apply?
Yes , our additional support is based on your household disposable income. If you working , retired or receiving benefits we may be able to help.

Can I get help with my application?
Yes, you can nominate a third party to make the application on your behalf.

Can I apply on line?
You can email your documents to us at

Other additional support

Explore our free range of Priority Services

We can provide bills and literature in Braille, large print and audio. Deaf and hard hearing customers can contact us using Text Relay – just prefix any of our listed numbers with 18001 and a Text Relay operator will join the call. We have a wide range of other services available. Click here to find out more.

Take the first step - talk to us

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    Water without the worry

    Giving you that extra support when you need it.


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    Managing debt

    Our code of practice: The collection of debt for domestic customers.


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    WaterSure assistance programme

    Water without the worry.


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    WaterSure application form

    For the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.


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Contact us

Contact us  

We are open to take billing calls 8am-6pm Monday to Friday and 8am-1pm Saturday. Find out more

Live chat


Live chat is available 9:00am to 17:30pm Mon - Fri and 9:00am to 12:00pm Sat Find out more

Third party advice


You can contact an independent third party debt advice provider for a free confidential financial assessment. Find out more

Online Debt Remedy Tool


Free, confidential help with water arrears and debt problems. Expert debt help in seconds! Find out more

Priority Services

Water without the worry  

We have a wide range of services designed for customers who may need extra help. Find out more

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