Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for customers in England

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

How we're helping

Recognising that it has been a difficult time for many businesses, we've put in place a range of support measures, including:

  • More flexibility
    A wide range of flexible payment plans
     
  • Fewer charges
    Ensuring that those who cannot pay, or who may take longer to pay their bills, do not receive late payment charges or interest charges
     
  • No disconnections
    We've temporarily suspended all disconnection activity until further notice

We also suspended the fixed water and waste water charges of those businesses that had to temporarily close between 16 March and 31 July 2020, in line with Government guidelines to reduce the impact of COVID-19.  This Scheme, and the subsequent COVID-19 Repayment Scheme, have now come to an end but we are able to provide continued support to customers who need help making payments.

 

What you can do

 

Call us if you're concerned

If you've been impacted by COVID-19 and you're worried about making payments, please contact our dedicated team on 0330 123 2002 and one of our advisers will be happy to help.  

Provide regular meter readings

Provide regular meter readings

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

By taking regular meter readings and submitting them here, you can help to ensure your bills are accurate and that you're only charged for the water you use.

Tell us if you're moving out

Tell us if you're moving out

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

How to get in touch

We're here to help and we'll 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're 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. I’m struggling to pay my water bill. What can you do to help?

We understand it’s been a difficult period for many businesses and we want to help. Both the industry-wide Vacant Relief Scheme (introduced by the water regulator for England, Ofwat), and the COVID-19 Repayment Scheme, have now come to an end, but we do recognise that the impact of the pandemic will be felt for some time. As such, we’ve put in place a range of flexible payment plans to help support customers. If you’re struggling to make payments then please contact our dedicated team on 0330 123 2002 who’ll be more than happy to help.

Provided it’s safe to do so, we would 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.

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.

We temporarily closed our premises for a period between 16 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 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 2020 and 31 July 2020 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 contacted 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 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.

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.

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.

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.