Water and sewerage bills flat for 2010-11

Posted: Monday 29th March 2010

Average bill of £339 across England and Wales.

The average household water and sewerage bill across England and Wales is set to remain broadly flat in 2010/11. It will decrease by about 0.8 per cent or £3 meaning an average bill of £339 in 2010/11. This takes into account a 0.3 per cent rise in inflation.

This follows Ofwat's decision last November on the prices water and sewerage companies could charge customers between 2010 – 15. The regulator's challenge of companies' investment proposals means that average bills will remain broadly stable until 2015. And around ten per cent (£34) lower than what companies asked for.

Regina Finn, Ofwat Chief Executive Officer said:

"Customers told us that they want us to keep water and sewerage charges flat while maintaining a safe, reliable supply of water.

"Our decision means that at least one household bill is set to remain stable over the next five years. And companies will be investing more than ever before, £22 billion by 2015. That's more than £935 for every property in England and Wales.

"This will deliver real benefits to consumers - from almost ten million people's water supplies being better protected from events such as flooding to dealing with the misery of sewer flooding for thousands of customers.

"We now need to make sure companies deliver on their promises. If they don't, we will take action."

The bill changes for this year will come into effect on 1 April 2010 and apply until 31 March 2011. The impact of the new charges will vary for individual

household customers depending on the company that supplies them and whether or not they have a water meter.

This investment will allow companies to ensure customers continue to see improvements and receive a safe, reliable supply of drinking water. Key benefits of the investment will include:

Safe, reliable supplies

Improve 140 water treatment works and 550 sewage treatment works to maintain and improve the environment and drinking water quality

Over 10,000km of water mains being improved or replaced – more than the equivalent of London to Cape Town

More than £1billion will be spent on maintaining and improving drinking water quality

Investment in cleaning the mains pipe supplies serving more than 1 million people to help reduce discoloured water.

Protecting Customers

Extreme events such as flooding can severely disrupt water supplies. Almost 10 million people will benefit from investment to guard against them being without water.

Addressing sewer flooding problems for more than 6,300 properties.

Environment

Maintain or improve more than 3,000km of rivers to meet EU environmental standards.

Improve water quality in more than 55 wetlands and bathing waters.

More than 100 schemes to work with farmers and landowners. This will help control pollution and reduce costs by better use of land, preventing pollution of drinking water sources requiring costly treatment

Saving water and using energy wisely

By 2015, the water savings that companies will make by meeting water efficiency targets, reducing leakage, and increasing metering will amount to more than 100 billion litres per year. That is enough water

to supply the cities of Liverpool, Bristol and Brighton for more than a year.

Over the next five years, companies are investing in renewable energy sources generating enough extra electricity to power around 90,000 homes. That’s more than enough electricity for all the homes in Portsmouth. This will both help reduce carbon emissions and keep water bills down.




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