THE GROWING influence customers in Wales have over what they pay for their water and sewerage services is reflected in today’s announcement on water bills for 2015/16, according to the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater).
The annual publication of charges by Water UK has revealed the average water and sewerage bill for Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water customers will fall by £5 to £435 in 2015/16.
Customers of Dee Valley Water will see their water charges fall on average by £7 to £139 from April 2015. That means the average water and sewerage bill for their customers – based on Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water’s sewerage charges – will drop by about £8 to £394.
The figures are based on average bills but what customers actually end up paying will vary depending on individual circumstances – with some customers paying more, or less, than the average bill for their company.
Today’s announcement marks the first wave of charges under a new five year price setting deal which was agreed by the industry’s regulator Ofwat in December. Customers’ views have had a greater impact than ever before in shaping what water companies can charge and the services they are expected to deliver.
Diane McCrea, chair of CCWater’s Wales Committee, said: “Most customers in Wales can expect to see their water bill fall which is good news. It also reflects the growing influence customers’ views are having on water companies’ price and service commitments.
“But we know many low income households are already struggling or unable to pay their bill so we will continue to press Dŵr Cymru and Dee Valley to make sure these customers get the support they need.”
Households who have concerns over being able to pay their water bill are being urged by CCWater to get in contact with their water company and ask for help. Recent research by the water watchdog revealed some customers in financial difficulty continue to suffer in silence, or are unaware of the help available to them. That’s despite water companies offering more flexible payment options or assistance schemes to help those that cannot afford their bill.
You can view water companies’ average household water and sewerage bills for 2015/16 here