A good deal is in the pipeline for most water customers over the next five years after industry regulator Ofwat announced many households will see falling or flat bills and substantial investment in the services people care most about.
The Consumer Council for Water has given its initial response to the regulator’s final decisions on what water companies can charge customers during the first half of the next decade and the service levels they must deliver in return.
The average household bill will fall by about £50 before inflation is added – although there will be significant regional variations – while companies will be expected to deliver a raft of improvements including reducing pollution incidents by almost a third and curbing leakage by 16 per cent. More support will also be made available to customers struggling to afford their water bills or in other vulnerable circumstances, although CCWater says companies should go even further.
Tony Smith, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council for Water, said: “Most customers will see this as a good deal but more must be done to make sure everyone can afford their bill and ensure there is sufficient investment in safeguarding these essential services long into the future.”
“Water companies have had it too good for too long. At first glance in appears Ofwat has listened to our repeated calls for it to get tougher and tip the balance back in favour of customers. But we’ll be keeping a close eye on the performance of companies to make sure customers are not short-changed.”