Coronavirus: We’re here to help and things to keep in mind while Covid-19 restrictions are in place

Our teams are here to talk to you, particularly if you have any concerns about your water bills and the financial impact of Covid-19 on your business. We can take you through the payment plan options and support we have for you, which you can read more about here.  The easiest way to manage your account is using our online customer portals. You can also reach our teams using the contact information on your bill.

There are some important things to keep in mind, whether you’re open, temporarily closed or reopening.

  • Under current industry regulations, the temporary financial relief scheme for businesses impacted by Covid-19 ended on 31 July. This means all charges now apply for customers and sites as normal, and all retailers will bill businesses for these, whether sites are open or closed. You can find more details about this below and on your bills.
  • Whatever situation your business is currently in, it’s worth keeping in mind that sending us meter reads will keep your account and bills updated and reduce bills based on estimates.

If your business needs to close again or hasn’t reopened

Take water meter readings

Take a meter reading, when you close, if it’s safe to, and send it to us so we can update your account. It’s important to send us regular meter readings too, if you can, so we can keep your account up to date and base your bills on actual water use rather than estimates. Even if your business water use has gone down your bills may not be reduced for several months, if we haven’t received a recent meter read from you or our meter readers.  

It’s best to take readings at least each month and send them on the day you take them by using your online MyAccount. If you haven’t set yours up already you can here

It’s worth taking and keeping a photo of the meter showing the reading and serial number of the meter too.

Keep an eye on your site

If you can, it’s worth checking on your business site while it’s closed, so you can spot issues quickly and stop any additional unwanted costs. These could include any water leaks, or unexpected increases in your meter readings that can indicate a leak underground. Once water has passed through your meter you do have to pay for it and any leaking pipes or equipment are your responsibility.

If you think you haven’t used any water and your water meter shows an increase, then it’s worth checking for leaks. You can find more about leaks here.   

Usually receive a bill by post?

It’s worth getting these online by using your MyAccount, so it’s easier to see them and your account information. You can log into/register for your online MyAccount at water-plus.co.uk/login

If you normally receive your bills by post and you’re due one when you’re closed, please remember to keep an eye on your post, or let us know a different address we can send it to if you can’t get to your site.

There’s also a few things you’ll need to do to keep the water clean and safe at your site

You can read our hints and tips to help you here 


What’s happening with bills and water charges?

What charges can I expect on my bill?

As the regulator, Ofwat ended the rules that meant we could stop charges at the end of July this year, we had to start normal billing again from 1 August. If your business was closed before this, your bill that covers that time will have no charges unless water was used at your site. If your water meter showed that any water was used while you were closed, then we have to bill you for it and any other fixed or other charges that apply, under the industry codes which all retailers have to follow.

Have questions about a bill you’ve received recently?

We’ve got more details for businesses about recent bills covering period of being closed here.

If your business site is vacant, let us know so we can make sure we update your account.

A site is classed as vacant under the industry rules if, among other criteria, there is no stock or furniture in the building and you would not have charges, unless there is water use at the site while it is vacant.

If you’re moving out of your business site, or your business is not reopening, please let us know

it’s best to let us know ahead of the closing or moving date, or the day you leave a business site. You can complete our online form, or email, or call 0345 072 6072 to let us know. We’ll need your account number, business site address, date you moved out of the site and, ideally, the meter reading on the day you left, along with your forwarding address or current address details and email so we can provide you with your updated bill.

If your business was closed because of COVID between March and July – have you told us?

If your business site is in England and closed temporarily between 23 March and 31 July 2020, as a direct result of the government’s Coronavirus guidance, you may be able to have a ‘charges holiday’. If you are, we won’t bill you for water/wastewater for the time you were closed between these dates, unless there is water use on-site, including leaks. 
If your business site is in Scotland:  you can apply for a deferral scheme to have some of your water charges postponed from 24 March, or the date your business was affected by coronavirus, if after this date. You’ll have to repay any deferred charges during the 12 months after the scheme ends.

If you haven’t already told us about your business being closed during the above time periods only, please complete this form. Currently,we can't apply a ‘charges holiday’ or financial relief scheme after 31 July, due to industry regulations.

 


 

 

 

 

How we can help with payment support

Paying by Direct Debit is the best way to manage your water bills if you’re having difficulties in paying.

We can offer you a few Direct Debit repayment options to help spread the cost of any outstanding balance on your account over the next few months, as well as cover your water costs going forward.

Setting up a Direct Debit will also mean you won’t miss paying a bill and get charged any late payment fees.

If you already pay by Direct Debit, we can talk to you about adjusting your payment amount if this will help you.

To talk to us about Direct Debit, please call 0345 072 6072.

Covid–19 repayment scheme

If your business has reopened after being closed, or you are having difficulty paying your bills, or any outstanding amount you owe because of the coronavirus, we have repayment schemes in place to help. If we can support you in this way, please call us. You can also find more information here.

If your business is operating as usual

It’s important that if your business is operating as normal and you can pay your bills on time, you should continue to do so. If the financial position of your business hasn’t been affected by coronavirus, or you don’t contact us about a Covid-19 Repayment Plan, billing and payment terms and conditions carry on as normal.

We’ll keep you informed and up to date

If there are any further changes to the support we can give you, or any industry-wide updates, we’ll let you know on this web page.

Further support

For general information about Covid-19 and how it affects your business, it’s worth keeping up to date with the latest government issued information on support for businesses and working safely.


 

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