Household water bills to be slashed after industry review
16 December 2019, 10:03
The cost of the average water bill will be cut by £50 over the next five years after a review by the industry regulator.
Regulator Ofwat has revealed households can expect to save 12% on their water bills over the next five years, saving an average of £50, as it laid out its latest investment review.
The regulator added that water companies must spend £51 billion on upgrades and improvements over that period.
Ofwat chief executive Rachel Fletcher said its plan was "firing the starting gun on the transformation of the water industry".
"Now water companies need to crack on, turn this into a reality and transform their performance for everyone," she added.
In a report published on Monday, Ofwat said the average bill will fall by 12% before inflation as part of a price review conducted every five years.
The specific reduction in bills depends on which company a home-owner is with.
Northumbrian customers will see an average fall of 26% of their bills whereas Hafren Dyfrdwy customers will see an average reduction of just 3%.
The decision is part of Ofwat's approval of a huge investment plan for water companies in the highly regulated sector.
The regulator also demanded that leaks are cut by 16% to transform the industry and improve efficiency, as part of a £6 billion cost-cutting exercise.
Its package of changes, which has been a year in the making, also includes £13 billion earmarked for "new and improved services that go above and beyond water companies' day-to-day operations" including £1 billion on cutting the impact from flooding.
It also includes a commitment from water companies to produce zero net carbon emissions by 2030 and reducing leaks by 16% by 2025.