Water bills to rise in Wales but support is available

Water bills in Wales are set to rise this April and help is available for customers struggling with bills, says the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater).

Today it was confirmed customers of Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water will see the average household water and sewerage bill for 2014/15 rise below inflation by £6 to £440

Household customers of Dee Valley Water will see water only prices rise on average by £5, an increase above inflation. This will take the average household (water only) bill to £152. The average water and sewerage bill for their customers based on Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water sewerage charges will rise by £8 to £409.

Those customers in Wales whose water and sewerage services are provided by Severn Trent Water will see the average household bill increase below inflation by £3 to £333.

With many households struggling to cope with the cost of living, even bill increases below the rate of inflation could put additional strain on some customers’ budgets.

The price limits for 2014/15 were set by the regulator, Ofwat, in 2009. They are due to be set for the next five years in December 2014.  CCWater is challenging companies on their business plans and price proposals to ensure they reflect what customers’ want and are willing to pay.

Diane McCrea, chair of the Consumer Council for Water Wales Committee, said: “Some households in Wales are facing very difficult financial circumstances so any increase in bills will only add to their concerns.”

“That’s why CCWater, along with local customer challenge groups, has been pushing both water companies in Wales to make sure they deliver the best possible deal on price and investment for customers over the next five years.”

Anyone struggling to pay their water bill should contact their company immediately as they can usually offer more flexible payment options, such as weekly or monthly payment plans.

Some customers are eligible for support and assistance, such as reduced bills, through schemes including Welsh Water Assist (Dŵr Cymru) and WaterSure (Dee Valley Water).

Switching to a water meter is also a way in which some households can reduce their bill, particularly smaller households or those living alone. A quick and easy way to test whether it’s worth getting a meter installed is by clicking onto CCWater’s online water meter calculator at www.ccwater.org.uk

Customers can also find a host of other money saving tips and advice on CCWater’s new website.

(Ends)

FORECAST AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD BILLS FOR 2014-15 (including 2.7 per cent RPI inflation)

Company

Average   household bill for 2014-15

(£)

 

 

 

Change   in average bill from 2013-14 (£)

 

 

 

Average   household bill percentage change

Water and sewerage companies
Anglian a

431

7

1.6

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water

440

6

1.3

Northumbrian

364

2

0.6

Severn Trent

333

3

1.1

South West b c

495

-17

-3.0

Southern a

437

11

2.6

Thames

370

12

3.4

United Utilities a

410

7

       1.8
Wessex a

485

6

1.3

Yorkshire a

373

6

1.5

Water only companies  
Affinity Water a

Central   region a

175

1

0.6

East   region a

172

3

1.5

South   east region a

205

1

0.6

Bristol Water

202

10

5.0

Cambridge Water

129

2

1.3

Dee Valley Water

152

5

3.2

Essex and Suffolk Water

227

5

2.4

Portsmouth Water        97

2

2.4

Sembcorp Bournemouth b

153

-4

-2.5

South East Water

201

0

0.1

South Staffordshire Water

144

2

1.3

Sutton & East Surrey Water

186

2

1.1

Industry average for water and sewerage (weighted)

393

8

2.0

 

a These water companies have given up some of their revenues for 2014-15 compared to what they were allowed when Ofwat set limits on prices in 2009

b These water companies both expect to make reductions in bills during the next pricing period of 2015 to 2020. They have brought forward those reductions in bills to smooth the changes in bills for customers over six years rather than five.

c Since April 2013, household customers of South West Water have received a Government subsidy on their water bills, which reduces it for each customer by £50 per year. This has been applied to the average bill in this table. Without it the average combined water and sewerage bill would be around £545.

Categories: News, Press Releases, Wales