THE SOCIAL TARIFF CONTINUES TO GROW - THE SOCIAL TARIFF CONTINUES TO GROW
THE SOCIAL TARIFF CONTINUES TO GROW
It’s been a while since our social tariff came of age. Since we began with a water bill rebate for large families in 1996, the assistance provided by Canal has not stopped growing. As the years have passed, an increasingly wide range of the population has been able to benefit from rebates that help make their bills more affordable.
Already during 2018, the number of bills with a rebate increased by almost five thousand, and at year’s end 46,306 contracts had been given rebates for large families, large households or social exemption. Different groups have benefited from the latter: recipients of the Renta Mínima de Inserción (Minimum Insertion Income), recipients of non-contributory pensions, non-profit entities, and people who can provide evidence of being unable to pay their bills (by means of a report from a social worker). In total, across all the different types, last year we allocated €2.81 million to social rebates.
Spending on rebates is forecast to continue to grow, especially now that we have just added two new groups of beneficiaries of the social tariff. On the one hand, recipients of widow’s pensions on incomes up to €14 thousand, and on the other, recipients of the Active Insertion Income.
The widowhood rebate means a 50% reduction in the standing charge, and up to 200 thousand customers are eligible. Implementing this policy is part of the Madrid Regional Government’s strategy for improving the living conditions of older people.
The Active Insertion Income rebate is intended for the unemployed with special economic needs and difficulty in finding a job. It is a 50% reduction in the standing charge and up to 25 m³ consumption free of charge in each two-month period.
APPROACHABILITY AND PERSONALISED ATTENTION
The thousands of rebate contracts are the fruit of the effort of our team of social workers. They are the ones who receive and resolve requests for rebates, do outreach and provide information about the social tariff and provide personalised attention to users in situations of special exclusion. In 2018 alone, they attended in person to 884 clients who, due to their particular circumstances, required special attention.
This initiative was launched in March 2017 with three main objectives: social integration of vulnerable customers, expand the number of subsidised contracts and publicise the social tariff through relationships with other actors.
Since its creation, this team has made 33 visits to social centres, where they have held meetings with staff. They have also made visits to 75 towns and eight associations, and liaised with the Social Housing Agency and the Madrid Municipal Housing and Land Company.
In addition to the functions linked to the water bill rebates, our social workers perform another no less important task: providing guidance to customers about the benefits of responsible water consumption and reviewing installations in homes. They provide advice and tools for improving water consumption efficiency.