Water bills set to go up

UTILITIES giant Anglian Water wants to increase bills by three per cent above the rate of inflation by 2015, the firm announced today.

UTILITIES giant Anglian Water wants to increase bills by three per cent above the rate of inflation by 2015, the firm announced today.

The move would see the average household bill rise from £360 in 2010 to £373 in 2015, an increase of 0.7pc per year excluding inflation.

This would mean that in 2015 a household's water and wastewater services would cost just over £1 per day.

Anglian Water said the price hike is necessary as a result of increasing costs.


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It also wants to fund a £2.5 billion investment programme between 2010 and 2015 in its services and infrastructure which includes tackling the impact of climate change and regional growth, improving customer service and protecting and improving drinking water quality and the environment.

The firm is asking for feedback on the plans from members of the public prior to the proposals being finalised in November 2009.

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The exact amount that the company will be allowed to raise prices will be decided by the economic regulator, Ofwat.

Jonson Cox, Anglian Water's chief executive, said “Our customers saw the lowest bill increases of all water and wastewater companies when prices were set back in 2005.

“We have improved our efficiency and rank among the top water and wastewater companies in England and Wales.

“We are determined to keep price increases as low as we can between 2010 and 2015 by prioritising our investment and being efficient.

“We believe that this proposal represents good value for money for our customers.

“This relatively modest increase in customers' bills will allow us to deliver a significant investment programme to maintain high levels of service and improve the security of supply, in spite of rising costs and the long term challenges we face.”

Sir James Perowne, Chair of the Consumer Council for Water Central and Eastern, said: “We recognise that Anglian Water is facing steeply rising energy costs, and needs to carry out a lot of work by 2015 to ensure a safe, reliable service for a growing number of consumers.

“We are encouraged that the company is proposing to cover these costs in part through shareholder money, rather than passing the full burden on to customers.

“The average increase in annual bills of £13 before inflation, although modest, will stretch some people when added to other household price increases.

“The Consumer Council for Water, together with other industry bodies, asked consumers what they want from their water companies between 2010 and 2015.

It will take time to analyse and understand the draft plan in full, and compare it against what consumers in the area have told us that they want, but early signs are that it is good news for Anglian Water consumers.”

Are you concerned by rising bills? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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