Water companies plan to cut bills in England and Wales

7th Sep 2018

Water companies in England and Wales have laid out plans to cut bills for millions of customers.

The plans, which have been submitted by water companies in England and Wales to the regulator Ofwat, are for the five-year period from 2020-2025. 

United Utilities announced it would cut the average bill by 10.5%, while Severn Trent said that this figure would be 5% for its 8.1 million customers. Welsh Water predicted that bills would fall by the same figure for its three million customers. 

At South West Water bills are forecast to fall by 11%, and the company also set out a unique plan offering customers a stake in the business from 2020. 

Thames Water, the UK’s largest water company, said that bills would be unchanged for consumers over the five-year period. However, the company did announce that it intended to invest £2.1 billion to "boost resilience and reduce leakage", following a £120 million fine in June over leakage failures. 

Anglian Water said its bills would rise, but by less than 1%. In mitigation, the region receives only two thirds of the national rainfall average. 

The lobby group Water UK summarised the plans submitted by England’s nine main providers, along with several smaller companies, and found that average household bills were estimated to fall by more than 4% across the country as a whole. 

Ofwat pledged in December 2017 that household bills would fall by between £15 and £25 from 2020-2025. 

John Russell, Ofwat senior director for strategy and planning, said: "We've reached a milestone in our price review process. From now and until January 2019 we'll pore over each and every business plan and we'll be looking for evidence that they are robust, ambitious and, crucially, that they have been shaped by customers."

An assessment of each company’s plan will be published by Ofwat in January 2019. 

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