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Water bills set to increase by 5.7%

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The average household water bill for England and Wales is estimated to increase by 5.7% adding on average an extra £20 to an annual bill.

Water company Ofwat announced the increase will take the average bill to £376 in 2012/13, the amounts have been calculated in line with the rate of inflation of 5.2%.

The changes in bill prices will come into effect on 1st April 2012. However the impact of the increase will depend on which company the household is with, how much water they use and if a water meter is in place.

Key benefits to the increase will be generating money to make way for the improvement of 140 water treatment works and 550 sewage treatment works and to maintain and improve the environment and drinking water quality.

Regina Finn, Ofwat Chief Executive Officer said: “When we set limits on prices, we listened to customers. They told us they wanted bills kept down, while maintaining safe, reliable water supplies. We challenged companies hard to deliver this. Our decision meant that, before inflation, average bills would remain broadly stable between 2010 -15.

“We understand that any bill rise is unwelcome, particularly in tough economic times and inflation feeds through into water bills, this is driving these rises.

“We will make sure customers get value for money. Companies are investing £22 billion by 2015 – more than £935 for every property in England and Wales. This will deliver benefits to us all – from continuing to improve reliability of supplies to cleaner rivers and beaches.

“If companies don’t deliver on their investment promises, we will take action.”

By 2015 Ofwat have estimated that the savings companies will make by meeting efficiency targets and increasing metering will amount to more than 100 billion litres a year. 

Saving water and companies investing in renewable energy help to cut carbon emissions and keep household water bills down.