Water bills set to rise by between X and X


Water bills in England and Wales are set to rise by an average £94 over the next five years, the water regulator Ofwat has said.

The figure varies by region with Thames customers seeing an increase of £99 or 23%, Anglian £66 or 13% and Southern Water £183, an increase of 44%.

The typical £19 a year increase is a third less than the increase requested by companies and is intended to fund investment for improvements such as replacing leaking pipes and reducing sewage discharges into rivers and seas.

It comes as suppliers have come under increasing scrutiny over their environmental and financial performance over a number of years.

On Thursday, Labour will outline a crackdown on the industry, promising consumers higher compensation for sewage failures and the power to hold water executives to account.

The new Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Steve Reed, will also meet water company bosses to discuss performance issues and ways of improving the sector’s performance.

The government plans to introduce new measures to ensure that money earmarked for investment and improvements are ringfenced and cannot be diverted to pay salaries or dividends.

Customer panels will have powers to hold directors and executives to account while compensation for customers for failures to hit required standards could be more than doubled.

The crackdown comes at a time of rising consumer anger at pollution but also at a time when some companies – including heavily indebted Thames Water – have asked for leniency due to financial distress.

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