Proposed changes to your water rate payments
Currently Northumbrian Water, who provide customers with water and sewerage services charge Coast & Country for this provision. We then recharge customers for this service via the rent account.
In October we wrote to you asking for your views on our proposal to stop collecting water rates on behalf of Northumbrian Water. Below is an update to this consultation.
In total, 57 responses were received. The most significant concern related to additional payments, which is not the case. Customers will not be making additional payments; they will simply be paying Northumbrian Water and not Coast & Country for their water.
Taking customers views in to account, we have made the decision to progress with our proposal to change the way you pay your water rates. From 1 April 2018 you will pay your water rates directly to Northumbrian Water.
How do these changes affect me?
You currently pay for your water and sewerage via your rent account. We will stop charging you for water and sewerage from 1 April 2018, so you no longer see this charge on your annual rent notification letter. You will be billed directly by Northumbrian Water from 1st April 2018.
What happens next?
You will receive an invitation from Northumbrian Water to join them at a drop in session to find out more information about payment methods, applying for a water meter and ways you can reduce your water and sewerage bill.
When will things change?
From 1 April 2018 you will no longer pay for your water and sewerage charge with your rent. You will receive a bill directly from Northumbrian Water in March 2018 – charges on this bill will be start from 1 April 2018.
What will my water and sewerage charges be from April 18?
How will these changes affect my benefits?
Water charges are an example of personal charges and are not covered by Housing Benefit. These changes will have no effect on your Housing Benefit entitlement.
What are the payment options available from Northumbrian Water
Northumbrian Water will contact individual residents to inform you about payment options and how frequently you can pay. You can find more information about payments here.
What assistance can Northumbrian Water provide in helping me to pay for water charges?
Northumbrian Water provides a range of practical measures to help tenants save on water usage and offer reduced tariff charges for those eligible customers on low income or benefits. Go online or contact Northumbrian Water to get more details of these.
Can I apply for a water meter?
Customers have always been able to apply for a water meter and you will still be able to apply again when you are billed directly by Northumbrian Water. Your application should be made to Northumbrian Water directly, you can do this here.
You will not automatically be put on a water meter when Northumbrian Water start billing you directly.
What is the WaterSure Assistance Programme?
WaterSure is a programme to help people who have a water meter and in receipt of certain benefits or tax credits and have to use larges amounts for water. Click here to view the WaterSure leaflet to see if you qualify for support.
Do Northumbrian Water offer any priority services?
Yes. If you find you need extra support here are some of the things Northumbrian water can offer:
- Meter Reading Scheme - If you are unable to read your meter yourself, they can provide two additional meter readings each year at a time to suit you if required.
- Medical condition or mobility problems - If there is an emergency interruption to your water supply which they are unable to repair quickly, they can arrange to deliver bottled water to you. Please let them know if you need a little extra time to answer the door or telephone, or if vehicle access to your home is needed at all times.
- Password Scheme - All customers can register a password to help guard against bogus callers.
- Visually Impaired - They can send your bills and other literature to you in Braille, large print, on CD, or they can send you a magnifying strip.
- Deaf or hard of hearing - If you would like to speak to them with a British Sign Language interpreter, they can arrange this. Alternatively you can call them using your textphone by using the prefix 18001 with any of their listed numbers. Text Relay will pick up the call and act as our interpreter.
- Nominated Contact - If you want a relative, friend or carer to be able to contact them about your bill, they will need your permission. This will safeguard your interests and privacy. Alternatively, we can arrange for your bill to be sent to a relative or friend that you trust and who has agreed to help. They can sort out payment on your behalf.
You can find out more information here.