Difficulty paying your bill

We understand that our customers may experience financial problems, particularly in these difficult economic times. If you're having problems in paying your water bill, we have four help schemes.


You may be entitled to a reduction in your bill if you have a water meter and use a large amount of water. To qualify, you must satisfy certain criteria.

Find out more about our WaterSure tariff

Water Direct

If you're claiming Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment Support Allowance Universal Credit or Pension Credit, Jobcentre Plus may consider paying us directly out of your benefits.

Find out more about our Water Direct scheme


If you owe us money and haven't made a payment for a while, NewStart could help you pay off your water bill debt.

Find out more about the NewStart scheme

Essentials Tariff

Our Essentials Tariff is designed to help customers who are struggling to pay their water services charges. It provides a discount of at least 20% on future bills.

You may qualify if your water services charges are high compared to the amount of income your household receives, or if you and anyone living with you receive pension credit.

Find out more about our Essentials tariff

How to apply

Before completing the application form please make sure you have the following information available:

  • Your customer number
  • Details of your income and expenditure
  • National Insurance number
  • Your name and address
  • Preferred method of contact.

The application form will take approximately 20–30 minutes to complete.

Select a form:

If you meet the requirements for NewStart, WaterSure, Water Direct or Essentials Tariff please complete our Financial Assistance application form.

Financial Assistance form

Contact us

If you are having problems paying your bill, our Affordability team will be able to help with your enquiry in a helpful and understanding way and in confidence.


Freephone 0800 027 0363 (9am–5pm Monday to Friday).

Please note, this number is for customers with financial problems. For any other enquiries, use our contact us page.


For WaterSure, Water Direct, NewStart and Essentials Tariff email payless@southernwater.co.uk.

If you're having difficulty paying any of your arrears or need assistance in completing the application form, you should seek free help and advice from your local Citizens Advice Bureau, Money Advice Service or StepChange Debt Charity.

Quick debt check

If you're struggling to keep on top of your money, StepChange Debt Charity's simple online debt check will give you straightforward advice based on your circumstances and tell you what you need to do next.

Here to help

Since 2015, we’ve helped more than 200,000 customers in financial difficulty and visited more than 90,000 homes to provide those who are struggling additional support and benefits they didn’t know they were entitled to.

We want to reach even more of our customers who may need extra help. So we’ve launched a campaign – ‘here to help’ - in an effort to try and reach those who may not be aware of the support on offer to them.

We are here to help through the tough times. We’ve made a podcast which explores the cost and value of water, the affordability help we offer and the work we’re doing with our charity partners Age UK Isle of Wight to further support and understand everyone’s different circumstances.

You can listen here:

Our film, which draws on real life case studies from those who’ve been difficult times and benefited from our support aims is to help spread the word about the help we have offer, whatever the circumstance.