Yarra Valley Water is offering customers support to help pay their water bills through its WaterCare program.

The program helps financially vulnerable customers and concession card holders who are entitled to government incentives, concessions and rebates on their water bills.

Yarra Valley Water’s managing director Pat McCafferty said a recent customer survey found about one third of customers with a concession card were not aware they could claim up to 50 per cent off their annual bill. 

“Over the past 12 months we have helped customers claim over $52 million in concession discounts, but many customers don’t know what’s available to them,” he said.

“More than half our concession card customers have held a card for over two years and may be entitled to up to 24 months of retrospective concession discounts.

“We encourage all eligible customers to register their details online or call our WaterCare team so we can apply a discount to their bills.”

WaterCare also offers payment solutions like SmoothPay, which allows customers to spread the cost of quarterly bills through smaller, more frequent payments.

Mr McCafferty said WaterCare was about helping customers through dedicated support and tailored solutions to suit individual needs.

“Receiving your water bill shouldn’t cause extra stress. If you’re finding it tough to keep on top of your bill, our WaterCare team is here to help,” he said.

A WaterCare campaign aims to tackle the barriers customers face when accessing financial support. The campaign includes low awareness of financial support options and the potential stigma some people feel about asking for help by normalising conversations about options for bill support.

The program will also be in five languages other than English, and includes additional information to support those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Yarra Valley Water customers experiencing financial stress or hardship, visit yvw.com.au/watercare or call 1300 853 811 to find out more about the WaterCare program.