Water customers in Wales will continue to see increases to bills following an announcement today (31 January 2012) from water regulator, Ofwat, says watchdog the Consumer Council for Water in Wales.
In 2009, Ofwat announced that by 2015 average water bills before inflation would reduce for D?r Cymru Welsh Water customers by £30, and increase by £2 for Dee Valley customers.
But the impact of adding a higher than forecast inflation rate of around 5% for the last two years means all customers in Wales are paying more.
For D?r Cymru Welsh Water, average household water and sewerage bills were £411 in 2011/12 and will rise to £427 for 2012/13 (£16 increase). For Dee Valley, the average household water bill was £137 in 2011/12 and will be £145 in 2012/13.
Diane McCrea, Chair of the Consumer Council for Water Wales Committee, said: Under the current system of regulation, water companies are allowed to add inflation to the price cap agreed with Ofwat. This is not going to help customers who are already struggling with rising household and other bills.
Anyone struggling to pay their water bill should contact their company immediately. They can usually offer more flexible payment options, such as weekly or monthly payment plans. In some cases they may also be able to help through special assistance funds, or schemes to help eligible customers reduce their water bills.
All household bills (metered and unmetered) will increase, but low consumption or single households could be saving money by having a water meter installed. Customers can find out if they could save money by switching to metered charges by visiting our website www.ccwater.org.uk, and clicking on the water meter calculator.
We want the water companies to demonstrate to customers what they are getting for their money, and will be working with companies and the regulator throughout the next price review to ensure that future water prices are acceptable and affordable.
In the past three years, the Consumer Council for Water in Wales has been successful in persuading water companies in Wales to give back £1.7m to customers in the form of rebates and compensation.