Customer debt

Welfare Reform and Its' Impact on the Collection of Water Charges

Reference: 15/CU/04/8
ISBN: 1 84057 775 4
Published Date: 15/07/2015

Since 2010, the Government has embarked on a package of welfare reform which aimed to make the benefit system fairer, more affordable, and to reduce poverty, worklessness and welfare dependency.

The reforms have been wide ranging and impacted on many households in receipt of benefits and tax credits. With the advent of Universal Credit the whole structure of welfare payments is also changing.

This report examines the implications of the welfare reforms for water companies and their  customers, in order to help identify appropriate strategies water companies may take in adapting to them.

Specifically the report provides details of the welfare reform programme, impact, implementation and future roll out. It investigates customer views on how the welfare reforms have affected their ability to pay water charges, and assesses the impact of reforms on water companies and their customers through an analysis of changes in customers' payment behaviour, debt and arrears. 

Price: £24  

Forecasting Future Levels of Water Debt

Reference: 13/CU/04/7
ISBN: 1 84057 664 2
Published Date: 06/02/2013

The rising level of debt associated with domestic households in England and Wales is an increasingly serious issue for the water industry. The aim of this project has been to present the evidence on debt, to discuss the factors that are likely to drive future levels of debt and to develop realistic forecasts of how future trajectories of water debt might evolve. A history of June Return statistics provides the basis for the development of debt forecasts, introducing debt penetration and debt intensity parameters to measure the current position and to predict future arrears over a 10-year horizon. Household-level impacts are explored, evaluating the affordability risks associated with future disparities in earnings growth and cost of living. Outcomes are presented for the industry as a whole and for each of the twenty-one water companies in England and Wales.

Price: £23  

Debt Collection Performance and Income Deprivation

Reference: 09/CU/04/6
ISBN: 1 84057 531 X
Published Date: 03/06/2009

This report examines the relationship between water company unrecovered revenue (debt) and income deprivation at the small area level. Debt has become a growing problem for water companies in the UK, rising by 40% over the last 5 years. It has been postulated that one reason for the variation in levels of debt between water companies is the variation in levels of socio-economic deprivation around the country. Data obtained at the individual property level from 13 participating water companies covering 80% of the population of England and Wales was analysed against information on income deprivation. A very strong relationship between debt and deprivation was demonstrated but other factors relating to variations in the billing and revenue recovery processes also played a part. The report makes recommendations to support improved revenue recovery in the industry. This is seen as particularly important in the context of the prevailing economic conditions in the UK in 2009.

Price: £21