Water bills to go up

Worcester News: Water bills to go up Water bills to go up

HOUSEHOLDS are facing yet more strain on their pockets with water bills set to rise in the coming months.

However figures from regulator Ofwat reveal it is not all bad news as water and sewerage bills in Worcestershire are set to remain the lowest in the country.

Severn Trent Water expects its average household bill for water and sewerage in 2013/14 to rise by 2.2 per cent - about £7 - to £335.

But across the country the average increase is expected to be 3.5 per cent, with households paying an average £388 for their water and sewerage service.

Severn Trent says the price increase will help fund an ongoing investment programme of £1.3million a day to renew more than 145,000 metres of water pipes in Worcestershire. The company is also investing £3 million into sewage treatment works in Droitwich.

Simon Mullan, credit manager at Severn Trent, said: “Any price rise, however small, is unwelcome in the current economic climate, but we have worked hard to keep bills as affordable as possible for our customers.

“In addition we want to make sure that our customers continue to receive a high-quality, cost-effective service through our investment programme. As a result, over the last 12 months we have invested more than £500 million in renewing and replacing our network of water to reduce leaks and bursts, and sewer pipes to prevent sewer flooding.”

Ofwat says it is aware of the pressure being placed on people’s hard-stretched finances.

Chief executive Regina Finn said: “Back in 2009, companies wanted bill rises of 10 per cent above inflation. That didn't chime with what customers told us they wanted, so we said they could only increase bills in line with inflation.

"We understand that there is huge pressure on household incomes, and any rise is unwelcome.

“We will make sure customers get value for money and if companies fall short in delivering their investment promises, we will take action.”

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