Water bills to rise 2% on average
Water companies in England and Wales have announced an average bill increase of 2%, which will come into effect in April.
Water UK has published figures stating that the average household water and sewerage bill in England and Wales for the coming year will be £395 – an increase of £6 compared with the previous year.
South West Water’s bills will be the highest (£491) and Severn Trent’s will be the lowest (£341).
These compare with an average bill rise in Scotland of 1.6%, announced last month.
The prices are in line with the five-year plans developed by every water and sewerage company after consultation with customers, and confirmed by Ofwat in 2014. Those plans will see companies deliver a 5% average drop in real terms in prices between 2015 and 2020.
Over that period, firms will also invest £44bn in services, resilience and environmental improvements.
Almost all water companies now have social tariffs in place, which help reduce the bills of low-income households by as much as 90%. All water companies provide a package of other measures worth more than £40M a year to support customers who are struggling to pay or in debt, including working with partners to provide debt and financial advice.
Water UK chief executive Michael Roberts said: “This year, details on bills in England and Wales are being published alongside information on how water companies are performing. We hope this will both inform the ongoing conversations about priorities between companies and their customers, and provide a signpost to the help available from each water company for those households who genuinely struggle to pay.”
Chief executive of the Consumer Council for Water, Tony Smith, said: “Most customers will see their bills rise from April. That will come as a blow to those households already struggling to keep their head above water.
“The good news is water companies have a growing number of schemes to help customers who are feeling the pinch. Some of these can provide lower bills and therefore shield households from the effects of price rises. But a lot of that support is still not reaching those that need it most.”
The average bills for each company can be found on the Discover Water website.
A version of this article first appeared on Utility Week.
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