People in Northamptonshire struggling to pay water bills may be eligible for a huge discount by April through a new Anglian Water price plan.
The social tariff will be administered by Central and East Northamptonshire CAB, an advice cahrity based in Mercer’s Row, and is likely to offer discounts well in excess of 50 per cent to those in need.
Customers with tiny amounts of disposable income will be put forward for consideration for the tariff after approaching either the water company or their local CAB office.
They will then undergo a deeper assessment carried out by the CAB in Northampton, who will at the same time tell them of other ways of maximising their income.
Martin Lord, chief executive of Central and East Northamptonshire CAB, said: “We are very pleased that Anglian Water have recognised that people on low incomes can often benefit from the advice and guidance we can offer.
“For example, supporting people to increase their income, and to signpost or refer them to sources of local advice if they come from outside Northamptonshire.”
The social tariff will be introduced region-wide in April 2015, and Mr Lord is currently recruiting staff to a new team that will help administer the tariff.
He is currently recruiting supervisory staff, assessors and administrators to help deliver the scheme.
It will add to other measures the water company offers to help customers struggling to pay, such as free water meters and water saving
devices and a special Anglian Water Assistance Fund for customers facing real hardship.
Spencer Hough, Head of Billing and Collections for Anglian Water said: “Citizen’s Advice Bureau will add specialist skills and expertise to
ensure our means of assessing customers is robust, fair and enables us to help those who need it most.
“We’re pleased our partnership will also support local services and mean new jobs are created in Northamptonshire.”
Details of the new posts are on the national Citizens Advice website: www.citizensadvice.org.uk