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

On this page, you’ll find some help and advice on how best to manage your water bills if your site is 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.

Did your business property temporarily close between 16 March and 31 July?

Did your business property temporarily close between 16 March and 31 July?

If your business was closed for a period between 16 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 due to Government guidelines then please provide us with an update using this webform.

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, for customers who have had to temporarily close their premises or who have seen a substantial downturn in water consumption across their sites, we are offering 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 and debt recovery activity until further notice

We also suspended the 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, and who saw a significant reduction in their water usage. 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. Our FAQ below provides more information on the Repayment Scheme and details on how to get in touch to discuss the options available to you.

How to get in touch

We are here to help. 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, our response times in answering calls may take a little longer than usual. Please do bear with us during this time.

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

FAQs

My business has been affected by coronavirus 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. In addition to providing a range of flexible payment plans, we have also put in place additional measures to support those most in need. If you are struggling to make payments then please contact our dedicated team on 0330 123 2000. Please read the relevant FAQs below for further details on the support we can provide.

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 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 fill out our online form 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.

I have received an e-mail stating that my business has been identified as temporarily closed due to COVID-19, however my business is open and I’m continuing to operate out of my property. What should I do?

We suspended the water and waste water charges of businesses that we believed temporarily closed between 16 March and 31 July, in line with Government guidelines to reduce the impact of Covid-19.

If however you continued to operate out of your business property during this period then please complete this online form and we will correct this on our system to ensure your bills are accurate.

My water and waste water charges were suspended while my business was temporarily closed. I re-opened my business property before 31 July 2020, what do I need to do?

If your business re-opened before 31 July 2020 then please let us know by completing this webform. We will then resume your charges from the date you re-opened. If we don’t hear from you then your charges will be applied from the date the Government guidelines changed for your sector.

If safe to do so, please take a meter reading and submit your reading here. This will help to ensure that your water bill is accurate and you are only charged for the water you use. If you are unable to take a reading then we will use an estimate until an accurate reading can be taken.

If you have any concerns about making payments then please do contact us on 0330 123 2000 and one of our advisers will be able to help. We offer a wide range of flexible payment plans and would be happy to find one that works for you. 

My business is still closed, what happens to my charges after 31 July?

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.

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 you have any concerns about making payments then please do contact us on 0330 123 2000 and our dedicated team will be able to help.

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 do let us know the move out date and final meter read so that we can 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

What should I do if I can’t afford to pay my Direct Debit?

We recognise that this is a challenging time for many businesses. If you are having difficulties making payments then please don’t cancel your Direct Debit and instead contact us on 0330 123 2002 so that we can help. We have put in place a range of additional measures to support our customers including flexible payment plans and payment deferral arrangements that you may be eligible for and we would be happy to discuss these with you.

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 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.

Is there likely to be any disruption to my water supply during this period?

We are working closely with all our wholesalers to ensure that their resilience plans are strong and that every step is taken to minimise risks that may affect the delivery of water and waste water services. Currently we are not anticipating any disruption to supply. Water UK, the trade body for the water industry have also stated that it is “confident the water industry will continue to provide clean, safe and reliable drinking water for everyone”. We will continue to liaise with all our wholesalers and should the situation change then the relevant customers will be informed.We are working closely with all our wholesalers to ensure that their resilience plans are strong and that every step is taken to minimise risks that may affect the delivery of water and waste water services. Currently we are not anticipating any disruption to supply. Water UK, the trade body for the water industry have also stated that it is “confident the water industry will continue to provide clean, safe and reliable drinking water for everyone”. We will continue to liaise with all our wholesalers and should the situation change then the relevant customers will be informed.

Is your business continuing to operate as normal during this period?

Our Business Continuity Plans have ensured that our organisation is prepared for a wide variety of incidents and events, including situations where employees are either unable to gain access to our offices, or where a significant number of employees are unable to work. Following Government guidelines, we have implemented our Business Continuity Plans and have a dedicated team in place who are working safely to ensure we can continue to support our customers during this time.

If you need to speak to one of our advisers then please be assured that our team are on hand to deal with customer queries and can be contacted on 0330 123 2000. You can also get in touch using one of our online channels, including web chat and virtual assistant. Customers with a MyBusinessStream account can continue to access all the usual services including checking your bill, entering meter reads and making a payment. Yorkshire Water Business Customers can keep up to date via the dedicated micro-site.

Please be assured we are doing everything we can to ensure we are answering customer calls as quickly as possible and providing additional support to those in need.

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.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.

Where can I find out more and be kept up to date with any developments?

We'll continue to keep these FAQs up to date, please visit this page in the first instance if you have any queries.