18 Jul 2019
Water bills to be cut by £50, Ofwat announces
The water regulator, Ofwat has set out new proposals which outlines cutting water bills in England and Wales by an average of £50 over the next five years.
Ofwat have also proposed for firms to invest an additional £6 million to improve the services for customers, remarking that it would mean “better services, a healthier natural environment and lower bills”.
Furthermore, companies who have suffered multiple serious pollution incidents have been asked to increase their spending and invest £12 billion to keep their plants, pumps and pipes in better working order; prevent sewage spills; protect species and restore habitats.
In their latest price review, Ofwat said the average households water bills of £400 per annum would be expected to fall by 12% by 2025.
The reductions will range from £7 for customers to £110, based on 2017-18 prices. For the UK’s largest water and wastewater company, Thames Water, with 15 million customers, bills will fall by 10%.
Rachel Fletcher, chief executive of Ofwat, said:
“These are seriously stretching goals for the sector but we know they can be achieved.”
Companies have also been told by Ofwat that they will have to cut pollution incidents by more than a third, help 1.5 million customers who struggle to pay, reduce supply interruptions by two-thirds and cut leakages by 17% by 2025 to save enough water equivalent to the needs of Manchester, Cardiff, Leeds and Leicester.
Companies have also been asked to encourage their customers to decrease their water consumption by installing smart water meters.
Chief executive of the Consumer Council for Water, Tony Smith, welcomed the proposal put forward by Ofwat, but said:
“Not everyone will see their bills fall when you add inflation.
“Only about half of the 3 million households who struggle to afford their water bills will receive financial assistance under these plans, so more companies should use their own profits to boost this support and not rely on the goodwill of other customers to fund these schemes.”