The future of water bills for customers in the North East and other areas of Northern England will come under the spotlight when the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) meets in Durham on Monday, 13 May.
The Water Watchdog will be joined by representatives from Northumbrian Water, United Utilities, Yorkshire Water and Hartlepool Water to discuss the latest position on their business plans, which will shape bills and services for customers over the next 5 years.
All of the region’s suppliers – apart from United Utilities – had to recently resubmit their business plans for 2020 – 2025 to the water industry regulator Ofwat, following its initial assessment that they needed more work in a number of key areas – including providing support for customers in vulnerable circumstances. Ofwat will set the final limits on what companies can charge their customers in December 2019.
Robert Light, Northern Chair of the Consumer Council for Water, said: “We know that price remains a top concern for customers, with around three million households currently finding their water charges unaffordable.”
“This meeting will provide an opportunity for companies to demonstrate that they recognise this and have developed plans that reflect customer priorities for the years ahead. For customers too, it will provide an important chance for them to give their opinion on what they would like to see.”
During the meeting, United Utilities will also be discussing its Hardship Hub, a one-stop shop which has been developed in partnership with bodies including Citizens Advice and housing associations. It enables advisors to quickly identify help for people at risk of sinking into debt.
Members of the public can attend and will have the opportunity to put their own questions to water companies.
The meeting starts at 12.30pm at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Frankland Lane, Durham. If you would like to attend or if you have any questions, please email Emily Flavell: firstname.lastname@example.org