The Money Matters team at Karbon Homes have been working with Northumbrian Water through its Support Plus scheme to not only achieve the best rates for customers, but also help them with any ongoing debt.
The partnership has been active since 2019, and in 2022/23 alone it supported over 1,400 customers, with discounts totalling just over £250,000.
One Karbon customer is saving £37 a month on their water rates thanks to the scheme.
During a tenancy visit from a housing officer the customer expressed concerns about a high water bill. They were referred straight away to the Money Matters Team to find out what support might be available.
The customer’s bill was around £50 a month and with a sudden change of circumstances they were struggling to cover costs. They were finding themselves left with virtually no disposable income each month.
The Money Matters team completed a financial wellbeing check and found that the customer was eligible for help. Northumbrian Water agreed to hold any arears action for two years and reduce the bill by close to 75% (to £13 a month).
The customer said: “The Money Matters team were amazing. The lady who helped me was so polite and understanding, giving me regular updates explaining my case.
“Having the reduction and arrears paused is a huge relief, it has taken some of the stress away of how I’m going to be able to afford the higher rate every month.”
Lee Forrest, Money Matters Manager at Karbon Homes, said: “As we continue to see the cost of living rise, we’re proud to be able to support our customers facing these growing pressures.
“A £37 a month reduction can be transformational to someone’s monthly outgoings, it’s an extra food shop or energy top up and partnerships like the one we have with Northumbrian Water help us make a real difference to people’s lives.”