UK water bills to climb on average by 3.5%

Press Release   •   Feb 05, 2013 11:17 GMT

The average household water and sewerage bill in England and Wales is to rise by 3.5% over the next year, regulator Ofwat has said.

A leading debt charity said the increase was "very bad news for consumers" and criticised Ofwat's decision to allow bills to rise by more than the rate of inflation.

The new charges will vary for households depending on their supplier and whether they have a water meter. On average, households will see their water bill rise by about £13 for the year from April.

Customers of Thames Water face the biggest percentage rise in water and sewerage bills, with an increase of 5.5% pushing the average bill up to £354.

Southern Water bills will rise by 5.3% with an average payment of £449, while households supplied by Wessex Water will face an average bill of £478 - an increase of 4.9%.

South West Water customers' bill will fall by 7.3%, or £40, thanks to a £50 subsidy from the government designed to address the region's disproportionately high bills.

The announcement comes at a time when water companies continue to bank healthy profits. In 2011-12 Southern Water made £80 million profit, with its chief executive Matthew Wright receiving total pay worth £632,000.

Similarly, in 2011-12 Thames Water made a profit of £247.2 million, with chief executive Martin Baggs taking home total pay worth £896,000.

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