Industry watchdog Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) has found that as many as one in five consumers are finding it difficult to keep up with their water bill payments.
The figure has increased from last year when it was one in eight customers. The survey also shows that six out of ten customers believe the water and sewerage charges are unfair.
CCWater believes water firms are still struggling to bridge the gap between customers’ increased levels of satisfaction with services they receive compared to their “much lower satisfaction” with value for money.
93% of those surveyed said they are satisfied with their water supply, 87% with sewerage services , but only 70% say they are good value for money.
Tony Smith, Chief Executive of CCWater said: “Our research shows why our challenge to water companies to deliver proposals for the next five years that are affordable and acceptable to customers is so crucial.
“Many water companies have listened and are on track to deliver plans for the future which should begin to address these concerns. Others still have more work to do if they are to turn the tide of customers’ views on affordable bills and satisfaction with value for money.”
There is somewhat confusion over what is flushable. Awareness of water companies’ support services for the elderly and disabled has however “strongly risen” since 2011 – up from 20% to 31% now.