Water bills rise by 4.6%

running tap

Household water bills will rise by 4.6% from April 1, taking the average bill to £356 a year. The rise is in line with inflation under a policy announced by Ofwat in 2009.

The regulator decided how much water and sewerage companies could charge customers between 2010–15. It challenged companies' proposed rises meaning that average bills are set to remain broadly stable up until 2015. The average bill will rise by 4.6%, roughly £16, this year.

For more read: Water meters could become compulsory

Regina Finn, Ofwat Chief Executive Officer says: "People can shop around for the best deal on many things, but not water. Our job is to do this for them.

"No one wants to see bills increasing, particularly in tough economic times. When we set limits on prices, we listened to customers and challenged companies hard. That's why average bills are set to remain broadly in line with inflation up until 2015, while companies are investing more than ever before, £22 billion. That's more than £935 for every property in England and Wales."

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Finn says if companies don't deliver for customers it will take action.

She says: "In the last five years, companies have had to pay out more than £500 million, from their own pockets, following underperformance."

The bill changes for this year will come into effect on 1 April 2011 and apply until 31 March 2012. The impact of the new charges will vary for individual household customers depending on the company that supplies them and whether or not they have a water meter.

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