The number of householders in England and Wales who are struggling to pay their water bill has jumped by a third, regulator Ofwat reports, as the cost of living crisis hits budgets.
A fifth of British households are struggling to afford their water bills, with young people particularly vulnerable to the cost of living crisis.
Ofwat’s latest report, conducted in October, found that the proportion of customers having difficulty paying for water has risen to 20%, up from 15% in May.
Three quarters (75%) of younger people aged 18 to 34 had reported struggling to pay household bills sometimes or more often.
Ofwat spokeswoman Claire Forbes said:
“We know from previous research that many customers are struggling with utility bills. As today’s report underlines, this financial strain is persisting and, for many, worsening.
“As winter approaches, water companies must ensure they are supporting their customers and informing them of the help available. We will continue to listen to customers’ concerns, monitor how well water companies are responding and take further action where necessary.”