Water Bills Set Below Inflation For Five Years


Customers of Northumbrian Water will benefit from their bills being set below the level of inflation for 2015-2020 when plans are finally approved.

Customers of Northumbrian Water will benefit from their bills being set below the level of inflation for 2015-2020 when plans are finally approved.

And about £900 million will be invested by the water company in those five years in work to further improve services to customers.

The water regulator Ofwat has today published its draft determination on Northumbrian Water’s bills for 2015-2020 based on the business plan submitted by the water company in December 2013.

Northumbrian Water, which supplies drinking water and waste water treatment to 2.7 million customers in the North East, is committed to keep improving its services, and for bills that will change by slightly less than inflation (RPI).

Northumbrian Water now has five weeks in which to review the draft determination and consider its response to the regulator before Ofwat makes the final decision which is expected towards the end of 2014.

Planned improvement to customer services includes significant work on the sewer network to reduce flooding and pollution incidents, investment in water treatment works and the drinking water network and minimising interruptions to supply.

It also includes further investment to maintain and cleanse the sewer network, more improvements to rivers and bathing waters and reducing levels of lead and pesticides in water and reducing the risk of discoloured water.

Northumbrian Water’s business plan was produced after more than two years of comprehensive planning, research and consultation with customers and with scrutiny and challenge from an independent Water Forum.

The water company’s planned investment will also be a welcome boost to the regional economy and employment with its extensive investment programme supporting thousands of local jobs.

Heidi Mottram, Northumbrian Water’s Chief Executive Officer, said: "While we appreciate that any increases in the household budget are unwelcome our plan avoids any change in bills apart from an adjustment below inflation.

We have listened to our customers and produced a plan which balances the needs of our current customers, our future customers and is sustainable in the long term in protecting the environment.

"Northumbrian Water is one of the best performing companies in the industry - with bills that are already amongst the lowest in the country - and our sustainable five-year business plan will ensure that our bills will continue to be amongst the lowest in the country until 2020."

Note to Editors

The average Northumbrian Water bill for drinking water and waste water services for the current period (2014/15) is £363.71.

Ofwat’s draft determination quotes a combined ‘investment’ figure of £2.7 billion for Northumbrian Water Group’s two businesses, Northumbrian Water and Essex & Suffolk Water – this figure is for total expenditure (‘totex’) and includes both capital investment and operating costs.

For further media information contact Alistair Baker, PR & Media Manager: 0191-301-6851 / 07711-793493.

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