Gen Z most likely to struggle keeping up with water bills as a result of the cost-of-living crisis
» More than half (51%) of Gen Z bill payers have struggled to pay a household bill in past year
» Gen Z are 59% more likely to have faced affordability issues in the past 12 months
» One in two (50%) millennials also struggling with affordability of bills
More than half (51%) of Gen Z bill payers have struggled to pay a household bill over the last 12 months, compared to just one in three (33%) Gen X bill payers, according to new research.
A report by Aptumo, next-generation water billing and CRM software powered by Echo Managed Services, found that 59% of Gen Z (16 to 25-year-olds) are 84% more likely than the national average (32%) to have faced affordability issues with their water bills in the past 12 months.
The report into affordability and how water companies can better support their customers through turbulent times also found that one in two (50%) of the millennial age group, 26-to 34-year-olds, are also facing trouble paying their household bills, highlighting the extent of the current cost-of-living crisis, especially for younger bill payers.
With older generations more likely to have paid off their mortgages and have higher amounts in savings, Aptumo’s Affordability Report revealed that young people were significantly more likely to experience payment challenges; those aged 55 to 64 were 63% less likely than the 16-25 age group to have had trouble paying their household bills in the past 12 months.
Income has an obvious impact on the ability to pay bills regardless of age, but younger bill payers who may still be establishing themselves on the world of work are likely to receive lower salaries. Across the board, more than half (56%) of households earning less than £10k said they have struggled to afford their bills in the last 12 months, while one in five (21%) respondents earning over £52,000 also said that their ability to pay has worsened this year as the cost-of-living bites.
Rachael Merrell, customer service director at Echo Managed Services commented:
“UK households are in the grip of a perfect storm which is creating an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis. As inflation continues to rise, our research shows that young people are disproportionately impacted and as a result are struggling to keep on top of their household bills. All service providers, including water companies, have a responsibility to support their customers through this period.
“For some young people, budgeting and paying bills could be a new experience as they move out of the family home and become financially independent. As they take their first steps towards independent living and registering as a named bill payer, water companies should consider how new generations of bill payers can be reached, and how best to support them. For example, what channels are preferred for communication and payment of bills.
“Water companies can also work with customers to discuss different payment options which can help to establish good budgeting habits which they may not have learnt as part of their formal education. Offering more options on frequency of payment and payment dates could help customers to better match bill payments with their income patterns.
“Water companies have been working with the schools in their communities for some time to help educate the next generation on issues around consumption and conservation. While progress is being made in raising awareness of personal daily usage and the environmental benefits of saving water, shining a stronger light on the connection between consumption and spend could be a valuable step forward for current bill payers who are struggling to make ends meet.
To find out more about Aptumo and see further findings from its latest Affordability Report, Download by Clicking Here
Echo Managed Services is a specialist outsourced provider of complex multi-channel customer contact services, comprehensive debt recovery solutions, revenue protection services and the developer of the multi-utility, Salesforce-native billing software, Aptumo.
Echo combines best practice technology and processes with highly skilled and knowledgeable people to provide public and private sector organisations with end-to-end customer contact capabilities.
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