Water bills to remain stagnant as industry fears investment collapse
Water industry regulator Ofwat has blocked plans by some water companies to increase charges and in fact ordered bills to be cut.
Before today’s (November 26) announcement average bills looked like rising between £30 and £50 according to the proposals put forward by water firms.
According to the announcement the average water bill in England and Wales will remain at around the same price until 2015, while also staying £34 below wanted companies had wanted.
While also allowing for the ‘largest ever investment in the sector’ of more than £22billion over the next five years.
In terms of each household this, according to Ofwat, means bills will fall by an average of £3 before tax for every home.
Ofwat chief executive officer, Regina Finn, said: “People can shop around for the best deal on many things, but not water, our job is to do this for them.
“There’s more to this than just low bills, it’s about what customers get for their money.
We’ve scrutinised every pound in the companies’ plans to make sure they deliver what customers want – at a fair price.
“We’re allowing companies to invest more than ever before, £22billion, we’re making sure it’s invested in the right place, at the right time, for the right price, everyone will seereal benefits from these proposals.
However, the chief executive of Water UK the body representing water companies, Pamela Taylor, feared for investment.
She said: “Water companies are no different from any other companies. Massive investment is needed and will be needed.”
Although she said more time was needed to ‘assess Ofwat’s price limits and either accept or refer them to the Competition Commission for a final judgement’.
Water firms have until January 26 next year to decide on whether or not to refer to ruling to the commission.
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