Cowes councillor, Richard Quigley, has been in contact with Southern Water to see if help is available for people struggling with bills.
“The cost of living crisis is set to get worse,” said Cllr Quigley. “As well as putting pressure on Southern Water to clean up their act on sewage discharges, I have been in touch with them to see what help is available for Islanders struggling to pay all their bills.”
He found there are various schemes for those on a low income; for example, if your household income is less than £21,000 you may qualify for a discount of between 20 and 90 per cent of your bill, and there is a 20 per cent discount available if somebody in the household receives pension credit.
Other help is available depending on circumstances with capped tariff or debt-matching schemes available, and if you’ve been accepted onto the social tariff of another wastewater supplier, you can receive an automatic discount of 25 per cent.
Chief customer officer at Southern Water, Katy Taylor, added: “We can offer specific help with water bills, typically at a reduction of £1.10 a day. Whilst we realise this won’t solve the issues some people are facing, we hope it can take some of the pressure off.”
Cllr Quigley added, “I urge people to apply for help with their bills. It’s offered because it is needed and no one should be worried or put off from applying.”
MP Bob Seely also met Southern Water this week and said that they had confirmed that repairs would be carried out to the main combined sewer outfall at Seaview, responsible for some discharge of sewage onto the beach. Mr Seely said he had been informed that work was due to take place in Seaview in April during low tides. He then toured the Sandown Water Treatment Works that processes the majority of the Island’s sewage. He said: “There are many misconceptions about what actually ends up in the sea as a result of storm discharges so I was pleased to hear more about how they treat the water and what actually gets released.”
You can find out whether you qualify for discounts on your water bill by emailing email@example.com or calling 0800 027 0363 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).