Southern Water has announced it will apparently be providing a £98m support package for customers to combat the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, which is disproportionately hitting the most vulnerable households hardest, across Sussex, Kent, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
The company claims it will be boosting the minimum discount on bills offered to 104,000 households, from 20% to 45%, whilst adding another 21,000 households to that number, offering these customers at least an average annual saving of £200 on a dual service bill. They also remained customers that they will also continue to help some customers that are in greater need, to access bill discounts of up to 90% (read more).
Southern Water is also to give 20 community centre energy grants of £1,000 each this winter to community hubs. The funding is also providing a £30 food voucher to around 3,700 families in West Sussex as part of a Free School Meals initiative.
Katy Taylor, Chief Customer Officer at Southern Water, said:
“Our customers live in the same communities as our colleagues and their families, people we speak to and serve every day. We are in an extremely fortunate position where we can help, which is why we have put together a package worth £98m to support customers who need help, until 2025… I would urge anyone who needs help to reach out and we will do everything we can to support you.”
Michael Barnes, Policy Manager at the Consumer Council for Water (CCW), said: “With so much focus on energy costs, it’s often overlooked that about 1 in 5 households currently struggle to pay their water bills. There are many ways to get help with your bill and we’d urged anyone with money worries to reach out and ask for support from their water company.”
This is a shift from normal discussions around the water company, which has been mired in controversy in recent months again over the alleged dumping of raw sewage. Last year Southen was fined a record £90m for dumping billions of litres of raw sewage into the sea.