Water and sewerage bills to fall

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Published: Tuesday 3rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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The average water and sewerage bill for households in England and Wales is set to fall by 2% or £9 over the next year, the industry said today.

Water UK also pledged a package of measures worth more than £40 million to support customers struggling to pay or who are in debt.

The price cut comes after regulator Ofwat ordered the industry to lower annual water bills by 5% in real terms over the next five years.

Actual bills dropping through customers’ letterboxes in five years’ time will be higher because they will include the rate of Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation.

Ofwat’s 5% real-terms cut means water companies are having to hold back bill rises by more than they had initially wanted, after their initial submissions a year earlier would have seen a 2% real-terms fall.

Among individual companies, Water UK said Southern customers will see a 6% or £27 cut in their combined water and sewerage bill to £410 for 2015/16.

Severn Trent and United Utilities will both fall 1% or £4 on a year earlier, while the decline in the Anglian Water bill will be 7% or £29. Northumbrian Water customers will see combined bills rise by 1% or £4 to £371.

Water UK said the amount in dividends and other payments set aside for debt and equity investors, who the sector relies on to fund investment in services to customers, will be reduced.

However, companies will still invest more than £44 billion, including to prevent leaks and supply interruptions and better sewage treatment to help keep rivers, coasts and beaches clean.

Targets for the next five years include saving 370 million litres of water a day by tackling leakage and promoting efficiency, a 32% reduction in the time interruptions affect the supply of water and 33% fewer p roperties flooded by waste water from sewers.

Water UK chief executive Pamela Taylor said: “Water companies understand the pressures their customers are under and are delivering lower bills and even more support for struggling households.

“Meanwhile, investment in the services their customers want will continue so that our drinking water remains the best in the world and our beaches and rivers are kept cleaner than ever.”

Published: Tuesday 3rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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