The Consumer Council for Water says that Water customers in Wales will see increases to their bills from April 2013. Companies should be clear about how this increase is being used to benefit customers.
Dee Valley Waters water only prices will increase by £6, taking the average household (water only) bill to £150. The average water and sewerage bill for their customers based on D?r Cymru sewerage charges will rise £11 to £403. For a D?r Cymru Welsh Water customer the average household water and sewerage bill will rise by £7 to £434.
Diane McCrea, Chair of the Consumer Council for Water Wales Committee, said: Currently water companies add inflation to the prices agreed with Ofwat. This is not helping customers in Wales facing very challenging financial circumstances and growing levels of debt.
Water companies must be clear about any extra investment these price increases could fund to benefit customers and further improve water and wastewater services to meet their customers expectations.
Companies in Wales need to explain to their customers what they are getting for their money, and what additional investment is being funded and, for the next price review in 2014 ensure that future prices are acceptable and affordable for their customers.
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 eligible customers reduce their water bills through schemes and assistance funds such as Welsh Water Assist and Water Sure.
Some customers, particularly smaller households or single people, find they can cut their bills by having a water meter installed. Customers can check if they are likely to save with a meter by using our water meter bill calculator at www.ccwater.org.uk
The process to set water prices for the period 2015-20 is now underway and CCWater is working with regulators and companies on behalf of consumers to ensure that future water prices are acceptable and affordable.
The attached PDF includes a table which outlines the changes to average bills which will apply for each company in Wales and England from April 2013.