Ofwat has published its latest review, which analyses the plans of water companies for the next five years. Three water firms passed Ofwat’s latest review and were marked as fast track companies. Those companies passing the review were Severn Trent, South West Water and United Utilities. That leaves 14 water companies that did not pass the review.
Ofwat asked four water companies to ‘substantially rework and resubmit’ their business plans to the regulator. These firms are Thames Water, Southern Water, Affinity Water and Hafren Dyfrdwy. The remaining ten firms have been designated as ‘slow track’ firms who will have to resubmit plans for the 2020-2015 period.
The three fast track firms provided detailed evidence of how they will cut bills. They submitted proposals to reduce water bills by up to £70, as well as increasing customer support for vulnerable customers.
Across the industry, water companies have committed to delivering improvements between 2020 and 2015. These improvements include:
- Help for up to 1.5 million customers struggling to pay their water bills;
- A 15% reduction in leakage – the equivalent of more than 170 billion litres of water per year, which would save enough water for three months’ worth of daily showers for everyone in England and Wales;
- Cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 45%, the equivalent of taking 360,000 cars off the road;
- Up to 80% reduction in pollution incidents; and,
- At least £10bn worth of extra investment to meet more stringent environmental standards, connect new homes and meet increased demand over the coming years.
The three fast track companies propose the following real term reductions in customers’ water bills:
Severn Trent Water: £18
United Utilities: £43
South West Water: £73
These are the differences between projected 2019-20 and 2024-25 bills in 2017-18 prices.
What is an average water bill?
Water UK estimates that the average water and sewerage bill is £33 a month. Those in the North West of the UK pay £18 more a year compared to those in the South West who end up paying £14 less a year than the average.
If you’re not on a water meter than have you considered getting one installed? You only pay for the water you use, instead of being on a fixed tariff where no matter how much water you’re getting through a month you end up paying the same amount.