Hundreds of thousands of households are falling into arrears on their water bills, Money Mail can reveal.
Debt advisers nationwide warn of an alarming rise in the number unable to find the cash for their most vital service – providing water and taking away sewerage – because of the soaring cost of energy bills.
Record numbers of households are now applying for a Government scheme that caps water bills for families in financial difficulty. The latest figures show 61,232 households accepted on to Watersure tariffs – up by 38 per cent from 44,279 last year.
Huge rises in gas and electricity bills are in part to blame for families falling into arrears on their water bills – on average, £379 for homes on rates, £325 for metered households.