Water companies to cut bills in England and Wales

Severn Trent and United Utilities said they would cut the average bill by 5% and 10.5% respectively. Thames Water said bills would be unchanged.

South West Water said it would offer customers a stake in the business.

The plans are being submitted by water companies in England and Wales to the regulator Ofwat for the five years between 2020-2025.

Ofwat will publish an assessment of each company's plan in January 2019.

Water UK, the lobby group for the industry in the UK, summarised the plans submitted to Ofwat by the nine main providers and a number of smaller providers in England. It found average domestic water bills were planned to fall by more than 4% in real terms across England as a whole.

The regulator said in December that the results of its price review would result in a cut in bills between £15 and £25 a year from 2020 to 2025.

Water bills set to fall by up to £25 from 2020

Labour's plan for state control of water, power and rail

Since privatisation in 1989, water bills have risen above inflation by about 40% and the regulator has faced criticism for overestimating the costs incurred by water companies, which have been taken into account by Ofwat during its price reviews.

The latest price review was announced at a time when the Labour party had been discussing taking companies into public ownership .

John Russell, Ofwat senior director for strategy and planning, said: "We've reached a milestone in our price review process. From now and until January 2019 we'll pore over each and every business plan and we'll be looking for evidence that they are robust, ambitious and, crucially, that they have been shaped by customers."

Share ownership

Thames Water, the UK's largest water company, said that while bills would be flat over the five-year period being reviewed it intended to invest some £2.1bn to "boost resilience and reduce leakage" after it was fined £120 million in June over leakage failures .

In the North West of England, customers of United Utilities are being promised a 10.5% reduction on average bills in real terms and 250,000 fewer households in water poverty by 2025.

Water Bills

Severn Trent said the 5% fall in real terms it was promising its 8.1 million customers was the largest in two decades. Its 200,000 customers at its Welsh operation Hafren Dyfrdwy Cyfyngedig, though, will incur bill rises of 2.2%, although it said these would still be the lowest in Wales.

Welsh Water, which has three million customers across most of Wales, Herefordshire and parts of Deeside and Cheshire, said average bills should fall by 5% by 2025 and that costs would be reduced by 10% to help fund the cut.

At South West Water, average customer bills are being forecast to fall by 11% and for 9% at its Bournemouth Water arm by 2025.

Anglian bills rise

South West Water also sets out a "first of a kind" plan to offer customers a stake in the business from 2020 and the prospect of meetings where customers can cast votes.

Customers could be given an option, alongside bill reductions, rebates and reinvestment, to have shares in parent company Pennon or a stake in South West Water itself.

Anglian Water said its bills would rise - but by less than 1%. The region receives only two thirds of the national average rainfall.

Ofwat has required companies to set out how much they intend to invest, what they will charge customers, how they will support vulnerable customers and how they will ensure their infrastructure is resilient for the long-term.

Water UK said water companies in England intended to cut leakage by more than 16% over the five years. This is the biggest leakage programme for 20 years and would save the equivalent of 184 Olympic-size swimming pools of water every day by 2025, Water UK said.

severn Trent Companies United Utilities
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
3 views in december
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

A young man has been knifed repeatedly in a horrific broad daylight attack outside a north London station. Police and paramedics were called to the scene in Kentish Townshortly after 3pm on Monday. They found a 20-year-old man suffering from stab injuries. He was rushed to hospital. Video footage posted on social media showed a police cordon in place on Prince of Wales Road, next to Kentish Town West station. Former Camden councillor Matt Sanders said on T...
A "jealous" husband who murdered his estranged wife after she rejected the offer of spending "one last" night with him has been jailed for 16 years. Martin Cavanagh, of Chatterton Road, Bromley, was handed the jail term on Monday at the Old Bailey after being found guilty of murder by a jury - writes standard.co.uk The court heard the 35-year-old was “controlling and possessive” towards victim Sophie Cavanagh, 31. Jurors were told he sabotaged her Match.co...
A man who survived 12 years in a children's home blighted by a "paedophile ring" told a public inquiry how he cowered under his bed most nights as he called on the council who ran it to apologise to him directly. Paul Connolly, 56, spent 12 years living at St Leonard's Children's Home in Hornchurch while staff routinely attacked boys in their care. Mr Connolly this week told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse how he arrived just before his eig...
U.S. lawmakers have reached an agreement on the Farm Bill that drops a proposal to tighten food stamps restrictions backed by President Donald Trump, and are looking to vote on it this week, according to congressional staffers. Attendees wait in line to enter the 2018 Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, U.S., August 28, 2018. REUTERS/Jordan Gale The agreement between Republicans and Democrats on the crucial piece of legislation caps a months-long bitter deb...
Historic black and white images give a glimpse inside London's abandoned central London Tube stations which still survive to this day. Londoners are being given the chance to explore inside sealed-off stations including Aldwych and the Jubilee line branch of Charing Cross this winter. Though all tickets for these stations were snapped up within hours of being released, additional tours are expected next year. Remarkable photographs show the escalators lead...
Protesters will march through central London for a pro-Brexit rally backed by English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson and Ukip's leader. Several thousand people are expected to descend on the streets of the capital this Sunday to demand that there is no “betrayal” over Britain’s exit from the European Union. The rally will take place just three days before parliament’s crucial vote on Theresa May's deal. Almost 4,000 people have said they are going o...
Westminster council has launched an inquiry into discrimination and “body-shaming” at nightclubs in the heart of the capital. Officials have revealed a “task group” has been created to look into the problem following recent reports of discriminatory door policies, including at exclusive clubs in areas such as Mayfair. Body image and anti-discrimination campaigners today welcomed the move after a series of cases of alleged racism and “fat-shaming” were high...
A teenager has been stabbed to death in south-east London. Police were called at about 21:40 GMT to Topham House in Prior Street, Greenwich, following reports a man was unresponsive after being stabbed. The 18-year-old died at the scene. A 17-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the death and taken to a police station for questioning. More than 120 murder investigations have been launched across London this year. Image captionPolice have cordo...
Thames Water said the Beast from the East and summer heatwave had an impact on its ability to meet leakage targets as it reported interim pre-tax profits crashing to £67.7 million from £218.5 million a year ago. The water company also revealed the extreme weather sent complaints soaring as it battled supply interruptions, with written customer complaints jumping to 11,083 in the half-year to September 30 from 8,242 a year earlier. Thames Water was ordered...