Financial News

  • 3 December 2013, 14:15

Water Companies Submit Five-Year Price Plans

Britain's 19 water companies have submitted their price proposals for the period between 2015 and 2020.

With the exception of Thames Water - the nation's biggest water service provider - they are all pledging to either freeze or cut bills in real terms during that time.

The average UK household currently pays 388 a year for water and sewerage services.

The regulator Ofwat, had urged the firms to apply downward pressure on bills, despite them spending millions on investment programmes.

Thames Water wants a real terms price hike of 11% - to fund 8bn of investment projects.

On November 8, Ofwat said the proposed Thames Water price rise of 29 was not justified, despite the company saying the extra money was needed to fund the construction a "super sewer" under London.

The watchdog's chief regulation officer Sonia Brown said: "We said we would challenge Thames' application, in the interests of customers.

"We did just that and on the evidence provided we are not convinced that an extra bill increase is justified."

Documents given to Sky News show that most of the water companies holding their prices static were acting on the wishes of their customers.

In October the water companies were warned that they must offer value for money or risk a backlash of complaints from customers.

In its annual report, the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) revealed that written complaints had reduced by 7.4% in England and Wales.

This was down for the fifth year in a row while complaints by telephone were also down.