Water and sewerage bills rise in line with inflation in 2011/12

Posted: Monday 4th April 2011

The average household water and sewerage bill across England and Wales will increase broadly in line with inflation in 2011/12.

The average bill is set to rise by 4.6 per cent or about £16 to £356. This takes into account a reduction in the average bill of 0.1 per cent before inflation of 4.7 per cent.

In 2009 Ofwat made its decision on how much water and sewerage companies could charge customers between 2010 –15. The regulator's challenge of companies' proposed bill rises meant that across England and Wales average bills are set to remain broadly stable up until 2015. And around ten per cent lower than what companies asked for. This is before inflation is factored in. The rate of inflation is added to bills on a year-by-year basis.

Regina Finn, Ofwat Chief Executive Officer said: "People can shop around for the best deal on many things, but not water. Our job is to do this for them.

"No one wants to see bills increasing, particular in tough economic times. When we set limits on prices, we listened to customers and challenged companies hard. That's why average bills are set to remain broadly in line with inflation up until 2015, while companies are investing more than ever before, £22 billion. 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 cleaner rivers and beaches.

"If companies don't deliver for customers, we will take action. In the last five years, companies have had to pay out more than £500m, from their own pockets, following underperformance."

The bill changes for this year will come into effect on 1 April 2011 and apply until 31 March 2012. 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.

Investment between 2010 -15 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

Protecting customers

Environment

Saving water and using energy wisely




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