Household water and sewerage bills in England and Wales are to rise by an average of 7%, Ofwat confirmed today. This comprises an increase of 3.1% in real terms, plus 3.9% for inflation. The average household water and sewerage bill for 2007-08 will increase by around £20 to £312. The impact of new charges, which come into effect on 1 April 2007, will vary for individual household customers depending on the company that supplies them and whether or not they have a water meter.
(Media-Newswire.com) - Household water and sewerage bills in England and Wales are to rise by an average of 7%, Ofwat confirmed today. This comprises an increase of 3.1% in real terms, plus 3.9% for inflation. The average household water and sewerage bill for 2007-08 will increase by around £20 to £312.
The impact of new charges, which come into effect on 1 April 2007, will vary for individual household customers depending on the company that supplies them and whether or not they have a water meter.
Ofwat Chief Executive Regina Finn said:
"We recognise that any bill increases are going to be unwelcome. But these increases are essential to ensure that customers continue to receive high quality, secure water and sewerage services both now and in the future. The increases are also partly driven by significant environmental improvements. Without the work that Ofwat has done to keep prices down customers' bills would have been higher."
Average bill increases, including inflation, will vary for each water company, from 5.7% ( £15 ) for customers of Severn Trent Water to 10.1% ( £44 ) for South West Water customers.
Following Ofwat's intervention, Tendring Hundred is reducing its charges in 2007-08 to compensate customers who paid more than was necessary in 2005-06 and 2006-07 because of an accounting error made by the company.
Ofwat welcomes companies' initiatives to help customers who are struggling to pay their bills. Wessex Water is introducing a new tariff aimed at customers in financial difficulty who are struggling to pay their bills. South West Water is to launch a scheme which will aim to help 7,500 customers to pay their bills over the next three years. Any customer who is having difficulty paying their bills should contact their water company to see how it can help.
Some customers, especially those with low water use living in homes with a high rateable value, would pay less if they had a water meter. Customers who think they may save should ask their company for further information on the effect that switching to a meter will have on their bills.
Ofwat will publish its annual 'Water and sewerage bills 2007-08' leaflet, which sets out average and typical bills for each company, on its website today.
Notes to Editors:
1. The Water Services Regulation Authority ( Ofwat ) is the economic regulator of water and sewerage companies in England and Wales. It exercises its powers in a way that it judges will allow companies to carry out their functions properly, and finance them. Its duties include protecting the interests of consumers, wherever appropriate by promoting effective competition.
2. The actual increase in bills includes inflation of 3.87% ( November 2006 RPI )
3. The leaflet 'Water and sewerage bills 2007-08' will be available on the Ofwat website at http://www.ofwat.gov.uk and from the Ofwat library 0121 625 1373.
4. To help customers understand why bills have gone up, we have produced individual company briefing sheets, which are now available on our website
5. In 2005-06, just over 13,000 households received assistance under the Vulnerable Groups Scheme - 37% more than the previous year. We are working with Defra, CCWater and the industry to improve customer awareness of the scheme.
1. The percentage increase in the overall average bill for Anglian Water is greater, by around 2%, than the typical increases that customers will see. This is because the overall average increase is distorted by the fact that Anglian Water has withdrawn its charges to unoccupied unfurnished properties.
2. The average bills for Dwr Cymru reflect rebates of £9.50 and £10.00 for each service in 2006-07 and 2007-08 respectively from the company.
3. The totals may not equal the sum of water and sewerage services due to rounding.
This story was released on 2007-03-01. Please make sure to visit the official company or organization web site to learn more about the original release date. See our disclaimer for additional information.