Information for Customers in England Relating to Coronavirus (Covid-19)

This page provides further details on the support we can offer our customers based in England who have been impacted by Covid-19.

Moving out of your premises?

Moving out of your premises?

If you are permanently closing, please let us know as soon as you move out by using this webform.

Help to ensure your water bill is accurate

Help to ensure your water bill is accurate

We know that many businesses will be using significantly less water now than they were previously.

By taking a meter read and submitting the read here you can help to ensure your bills are accurate and that you are only charged for the water you use.

Covid-19 affected customers

Recognising that this is a difficult time for many businesses, we have put in place a range of support measures, including:

  • A wide range of flexible payment plans
  • Ensuring that those who cannot pay, or who may take longer to pay their bills, do not receive late payment charges or interest charges
  • Temporarily suspending all disconnection activity until further notice

We also suspended the fixed water and waste water charges of those businesses that had to temporarily close, in line with Government guidelines to reduce the impact of Covid-19.  The Scheme was available to businesses who closed their business property between 16 March and 31 July 2020 and who saw their water consumption reduce by 95% or more. Please note this Scheme has now come to an end but we are able to provide continued support to customers who need help making payments. For those businesses who have been impacted by Covid-19 and are worried about making payments, we are offering a Covid-19 Repayment Scheme (please see relevant FAQ below for further details). 

How to get in touch

We are here to help and we will continue to keep this page updated. If you want to speak to one of our advisers then please contact us on 0330 123 2000.

Whilst we are providing additional support to those who need it most, there may be periods when our response times in answering calls might take a little longer than usual. Please do bear with us during this time.

Don’t forget you can also get in touch online. Customers with a MyBusinessStream account can also continue to use this to access all the usual services including checking your bill, entering meter reads and making a payment.

FAQs

My business is continuing to be affected by Covid-19 and the restriction measures in place and I’m struggling to pay my water bill. Is there anything you can do to help?

We understand this is a difficult time for many businesses and we want to help. The industry-wide Vacant Relief Scheme, introduced by the water regulator for England, Ofwat, came to an end on the 31 July 2020, however we have put in place measures to support those most in need. In addition to providing a range of flexible payment plans, we are also offering a Covid-19 Repayment Scheme, which allows customers to apply to have their charges deferred for up to 3 months and then an extended period to repay these deferred charges. If you are struggling to make payments then please contact our dedicated team on 0330 123 2002 who will be more than happy to help.

We temporarily closed our premises for a period between 16 March and 31 July due to Government guidelines. What can you do to ensure I wasn’t charged whilst the property was empty?

If your business was closed due to Covid-19 anytime between 16 March and 31 July and you saw a significant reduction in water consumption of at least 95%* then we can mark your property (properties) as temporarily vacant and suspend any fixed charges for this period. We have been contacting those businesses that we believe were  closed, in line with Government guidelines, so that we could pro-actively stop their water and waste water charges. If, however, you didn’t hear from us then please contact us on 0330 123 2000 to provide details, including the date that your business closed and re-opened, and, if safe to do so, an up to date meter reading. If you require further support then we do offer a range of flexible payment plans and would be happy to find one that works for you.

Following the introduction of temporary relief measures by Ofwat, we have made changes to our Terms and Conditions for customers in England and Wales, which can be viewed here.

* in accordance with regulatory guidelines.

I temporarily closed my business property due to Covid-19 and my property is still closed. What will happen to my charges now that the Scheme has ended?

The industry-wide Vacant Relief Scheme, introduced by the water regulator for England, Ofwat, came to an end on the 31 July 2020. As a result, we can no longer suspend charges beyond that date. We do however recognise that the impact of Covid-19 will continue to be felt in the months to come. In addition to providing a range of payment plans, we also offer a Covid-19 Repayment Scheme, which allows customers to apply to have their charges deferred for up to 3 months and then an extended period to repay these deferred charges. If you would like to find out further details about the Repayment Scheme then please contact us on 0330 123 2002.  

Provided it’s safe to do so, we would also encourage you to take a meter read and submit your reading here. This will help to ensure your water bill is accurate and you are only charged for what you use. If you are unable to take a reading then we will use an estimate until an accurate reading can be taken.

If my business ceases trading will I still receive a water bill?

In England, if a business ceases trading and moves out of the property, charges will continue up to the point that the business no longer has a legal right to occupy the property (e.g. a lease has ended naturally or has been terminated by a landlord). At that point we will issue a final bill which will includes charges up to the move out date.

Please ensure you advise us if you return to the property so we can reopen your account. If you are moving out of your property then please complete this webform to let us know your move out date and final meter read. This will help to ensure your final bill reflects your actual consumption and you are only charged for the water that you used.

Where can I find out more details about the Covid-19 Repayment Scheme?

We appreciate this is a difficult time for many businesses and we want to help. From the outset we have been working with the water regulator, Ofwat, to identify the best ways to support our customers that have been directly impacted by Covid-19.

We are pleased to be able to offer a range of repayment options including a payment deferral, which we hope will provide our customers with greater flexibility and support during this time. Please get in touch with our team on 0330 123 2002 to discuss the options available to you.

Please note, these measures are in place to help support those in need. If you are able to make payments then please continue to do so.

Terms and conditions apply

We are using significantly less water than we were previously. What can you do to help us lower our bills?

We understand this will be the case for many businesses. If you are a metered customer then in order to ensure that your bills reflect your actual consumption, please fill in our online form, and provided it is safe to do so, submit two meter reads two weeks apart. We will then be able to amend your bill accordingly.

If you are unmeasured (don’t use a meter) your charges are based on the rateable value of your property, which means your charges will remain the same.

How can I ensure my water quality hasn’t been impacted while my business was closed?

If your business property was closed for a period of weeks or months then there are some simple steps you can take to ensure your water quality hasn’t been impacted and your pipes are working properly:

  • Stagnated water can lead to water quality issues. Make sure you run all your taps individually to ensure that the water in your plumbing system is fresh. Run the water until it is clear and feels cool.
  • Ensure that all appliances are thoroughly flushed through before use. Details on how to do this will be provided in the appliance’s instruction manual.
  • If your property has any water softeners or internal filters then please check that these are working correctly, as instructed in the manual guides.
  • Check for any leaks. Whilst not always visible, if your tap continues to drip when you turn it off or your toilet is continually running then this may mean you have a leak. If you suspect a leak then contact us on 0330 123 2000.

For further details, please read this guide produced by the UK water industry body, Water UK.

I am expecting someone to come out to read my meter. Will this still happen? If so, then what assurances can you give me that they are taking the right health and safety precautions before attending my site?

The health and safety of our employees and customers is of upmost importance. We are working with our external partners, including meter readers, to ensure they are following Government guidelines and taking extra precautions at this time. If you have any concerns then please do let us know. We will continue to keep this under review and provide any updates on our website.