Future Water Prices  – bill reductions before inflation over 2015-20

The 2014 review of prices was a lengthy and complex process which culminated in the publication of price limits for each water company that took effect from 1 April 2015.
Between 2015-20 the average household water and sewerage bill in England and Wales is set to fall by around 5 per cent from £396 to 376, before inflation is added.

How the average annual bill for each water company will change over the 2015-20 period

Average water and wastewater bill for the water and sewerage companies:

pr14

Average bill for the water only companies:

pr142

How was CCWater involved?

We played an active role throughout the process to ensure the customers’ voice was heard and acted on. In particular, we called for more customer involvement in the price setting process. Ofwat responded by setting up the Customer Challenge Groups to scrutinise and challenge water company investment proposals.

Overall, we feel the final price decision was a significant victory for customers because their views shaped the water pricing process more than ever before. Ofwat and the water companies delivered a deal which reflected the services that customers wanted, at a price most found acceptable.

Extensive customer research was undertaken to understand customers’ expectations of the service they received from water companies, and their investment, service and price proposals were developed from this ‘customer evidence’. Company and Ofwat proposals for price and service improvements were then ‘tested’ through market research to ensure the majority of customers found the price and investment ‘package’ acceptable and affordable.

How inflation will effect bills

While bills are set to come down in real terms, customers need to be aware that water companies are allowed to add inflation to bills each year so charges are still likely to rise. This will hurt some households. Support exists for customers who are struggling to pay, and we will be pressing every water company to ensure these schemes reach those who need help.

We will also keep a close eye on every water company’s performance to ensure they deliver on the commitments they’ve made to customers to improve service through the investments companies are making through the 2015-20 period.

Queries

If you have any questions please contact either: Steve Hobbs, Senior Policy Manager, Regulation (steven.hobbs@ccwater.org.uk) or; James Mackenzie, Policy Manager, PR14 (james.mackenzie@ccwater.org.uk)

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