Water Costs Set to Soak England and Wales, States BBC News Online

Posted on March 3, 2012 by Poundy

Water Costs Set to Soak England and Wales, States BBC News Online
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Average English and Welsh water and sewerage bills will increase in April to about £376 per household, BBC News Online reported last month.

Costs will grow by an average of 5.7 percent, but the exact hikes will differ among individual firms. For instance, Southern customers will pay 8.2 percent more on their bills starting in April, but Dwr Cymru customers will only pay an extra 3.8 percent.

Industry regulator Ofwat says the price boosts are part of a five-year plan to help fund £22bn of investments in service improvements, such as cleaning up rivers and beaches.

“Inflation feeds through into water bills, and this is driving these rises,” says Ofwat’s Regina Finn.

She adds: “We understand that any bill rise is unwelcome, particularly in tough economic times. We will make sure customers get value for money.”

“If companies don’t deliver on their investment promises, we will take action.”

However, consumer groups are on their guard about the decision to boost water bills.

“If companies benefit financially from this, then they need to share that with customers and not just with shareholders,” says Tony Smith, chief executive of the Consumer Council for Water.

“We’ll be making sure that customers get some benefits from this and also that companies step up their help for customers with affordability problems.”

In 2009, Ofwat released an official document (pdf) outlining its five-year plan, including its intended price increases and the resulting service improvements to come by 2015.

BBC News Online is the most popular news website in the UK, receiving about 14 million unique visitors each week. To find out more information, read the original article here.

Comments

What Others Are Saying

  1. Inflation Monkey April 2, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    This is not a new phenomenon when you compare the Office of National Statistics data for bills against RPI inflation measure since 1987, you see they have been rising faster than RPI inflation and average wages for almost every year since 1987.

    Since 1987 water rates have increased by almost 4.5 times (approximately 450%) were as RPI has increased by almost 2.5 times (approximately 250%) and average wages by just over 3 times (300%) over the same time period.

  2. Jess April 20, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    A really good answer, full of ratioanlity!

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