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Over half of households will struggle to pay their utility bills this year, says Ofwat - here's how you can cut costs

Over half of people will struggle to pay their utility bills this year, according to a survey of more than 2,000 bill payers, but there are still ways to try and cut the cost of your bills.

The water regulator surveyed 2,306 water bill payers in England and Wales and found that 61% (compared to just 25% the previous year) expect their financial situation to get worse over the next year, while just over half believe they will struggle to pay their bills.

The report from Ofwat, published on 12 May, found that 30% of people were worried about paying for their fuel, 29% were worried about paying for their heating and 15% were concerned about being able to pay their water bill. The survey also found that over half of those struggling said they were worried or stressed on a daily basis about their financial situation.

The report additionally found that, among those who struggled over the last year, 36% of people have had to ask friends and family for money to cover recent bills, while 43% have cut back on non-essential spending.

As a result of the findings, Ofwat said it will publish new guidelines for water companies to help support people struggling to pay their bills get access to help and repay their debts. It added that it will "monitor" how water companies respond to customers in difficulties. 

How to cut the costs of your household bills

For more on how to cut the cost of your water bills, see our Cut your water bills guide. If you need to reduce the cost of your monthly broadband bill, check out our Cheap broadband deals guide, while our supermarket shopping tips will help you to cut the cost of your food bill.

As energy bills continue to rise, there might not be much you can do here to reduce your bills, but there are things you can try if you're struggling to pay, so check out our guide on what to do if you're Struggling to pay your energy bills. And for more on cutting fuel costs, see our guide on Cheap petrol and diesel.

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