Could you be eligible for help with your water bill?

Bournemouth Water are offering help to make water bills more affordable. If certain social circumstances apply, you may be entitled to help with the cost of your water bill. There are currently several schemes in operation; these include WaterCare, WaterSure (Bournemouth Water) and the Fresh Start Fund (South West Water).


WaterCare is a discount scheme for those on a low income with a water meter (or on assessed charges where a meter cannot be fitted) and a member of the household in receipt of a means tested benefit.

If you qualify for WaterCare then you would be entitled to either a 15%, 25% or 50% discount off your water bill. Applications can be made by sending copies of benefits and bank statements to Bournemouth Water directly.

WaterCare tariff has been designed to help you if you have a very low income.

You could be offered a reduction on your water charges if you meet these conditions:

  • You are on a meter or on assessed charges
  • You or someone in your house receives one of the following means tested benefits:
    • Housing benefit
    • Income support
    • Income based Job Seeker’s Allowance
    • Income based Employment and Support Allowance
    • Pension Credit (guaranteed element)
    • Universal Credit (housing element or standard allowance element)
  • Your equivalised* weekly income, after housing costs, is less than £295
  • Your water bill represents more than 5% of your equivalised income, after housing costs

Equivalised income is actual money income which is adjusted to reflect the size and composition of a household. For example, with equivalisation, an income of £200 per week is worth more to a single person household than it would be to a household with three children. Bournemouth Water work out your equivalised income based on the details you supply.


WaterSure tariff can help you if you have a low income and use a lot of water. You need to be on a meter (or assessed charge). The WaterSure tariff caps your yearly bill regardless of the water you use.

Eligibility criteria

We can cap your water charges, if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are on a meter (or an assessed charge if a meter cannot be fitted)
  • You or someone in your house receives any of the following benefits or tax credits:
    Income Support
    Income–based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    Income–based Employment and Support Allowance
    Housing Benefit
    Child Tax Credit (other than just the family element)
    Pension Credit
    Working Tax Credit
    Universal Credit
  • You have 3 or more children under 19 years old living in the house for whom you’re receiving child benefit or you or someone living in your house has a certain medical condition that means you have to use extra water.

For South West Water – see The Fresh Start Fund

Be sure to contact our Water Specialist, Ian Talbot, for details.

(Information on this page was correct as of 20/12/2021, please check with our Water Specialist for any updates and other schemes available)