Water bills rising
The average water bill in England and Wales is expected to rise by 0.5 per cent above inflation to £376 in 2012/13.
Of water and sewerage companies (WaSCs), Southern Water is making the biggest hike, of 8.2 per cent. Of water only companies (WoCs), Bristol Water is claiming the highest rise, with 8.8 per cent.
Welsh Water is the WaSC with the smallest price rise, of 3.8 per cent. Veolia Central has the lowest hike of the WoCs, of 1.8 per cent or £3 on the average bill.
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. Inflation feeds through into water bills, and this is driving these rises.
Finn promised Ofwat would make sure customers got value for money and added: "If companies don't deliver on their investment promises, we will take action."
Ofwat pegs price limits to the Retail Price Index (RPI), which stood at an uncommonly high 5.2 per cent in November 2011, when charges were calculated.
Thames Water claimed less of an increase from customers than the maximum sanctioned by Ofwat, passing on savings made from borrowing instead of issuing shares.
Thames Water was allowed to raise prices by 4.6 per cent above inflation (9.8 per cent) but is settling for RPI + 1.5 per cent (6.7 per cent).
A table of average bill increases for all water companies can be found on Ofwat's website here: http://bit.ly/y2AM6p
By Janet Wood
Re the comment from David Hayes above, it may be useful to know that water companies' allowed price rises are agreed every five years by Ofwat, most recently in 2010.
No allowance was made for private sewer costs in that review. Companies are crrently bearing that cost; it will, however, be recouped following the next five-yearly price review, ie from 2015 - assuming regulatoy approval.
By Inflation Monkey
This is not a new phenomenon when you compare the Office of National Statistics data for water bills against RPI inflation measure since 1987, you see they have been rising faster than RPI inflation and average wages for almost every year since 1987 (Reference: www.inflationarypressure.com/customchart1987/Graph%20of%20price%20of%20Water%20Rates%20against%20RPI%20All%20Items%20showing%20inflation.html
Water bills have increased by almost 4.5 times (approximately 450%) were as RPI has increased by almost 2.5 times (approximately 250%) and over the last 25 years.
By Inflation Monkey
This is not a new phenomenon when you compare the Office of National Statistics data for water bills against RPI inflation measure since 1987
, you see they have been rising faster than RPI inflation and average wages for almost every year since 1987.
Since 1987 water rates have increased by almost 4.5 times (approximately 450%) were as RPI has increased by almost 2.5 times (approximately 250%) and average wages by just over 3 times (300%) over the same time period.
By David Hayes, CEO, Drain Claim
Statement: "It is hard to believe that the transfer of ownership of private sewers to the water and sewerage companies in October 2011 is not partly responsible for this sudden rise in water bills.
Announcing the transfer of sewers last year, Environment Minister Richard Benyon said it would stop the financial threat of customers being hit with huge repair bills for sewers that sometimes aren t even on their property . At lot of those repair bills would actually have been covered under home owners' building insurance policies. Now it appears that customers already struggling in the recession are to be hit by this sudden rise in bills. Following the transfer of responsibility for drainage and sewers under the Defra bill, the water companies claimed not to be recouping their extra costs of maintaining the systems from the consumer, but how else can these above inflation rises be explained?
It is hard to accept that these rises are purely down to inflation as Ofwat chi...[comment was too long]
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