Welsh Water bill help for 100k customers

A domestic water tap Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The new tariff will be targeted at customers spending more than 5% of their income on water bills

More than 100,000 customers in Wales could have help with their water bills thanks to a new tariff being launched.

Welsh Water's HelpU social tariff could offer savings of up to £250 a year for its most disadvantaged customers, the company said.

It is backed by the Welsh government and other organisations.

It comes as the water company's half year financial report showed a strong overall performance for the six months leading up to September.

The non-shareholder company - which says all its gains go to customers - said it invested £174m in large projects and essential infrastructure in that period - nearly £1m a day.

'Low bills'

It also confirmed that a further £170m will be invested between October 2014 and April 2015.

Chief Executive Chris Jones said: "With all our gains going to customers, we can deliver real value by accelerating investment, keeping bills low and helping those who genuinely struggle to pay their water bills."

The HelpU tariff has been developed with support from the independent consumer watchdog Consumer Council for Water (CCWater), the Welsh government and housing associations group Community Housing Cymru.

It will be targeted at customers spending more than 5% of their income on water bills.

It said average household incomes in the area it serves are almost 13% lower than the rest of England and Wales, with some areas being 20% below the average.

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