Anglian Water’s household customers will see bills increase on average by £22 this year. Inflation is the driving force behind the rise, which will take household bills on average from £401 to £423.
Water industry regulator, Ofwat, sets water company charges each year using a formula based on Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation at the rate it is in the previous November. In November 2011 the RPI was 5.16 per cent.
While any increase in bills is unwelcome, this rise equates to less than 50p a week. Just a little more than £1 a day pays for all the treated water customers need as well as the removal of wastewater and its safe return to the environment.
This new pricing formula will allow us to invest around £530 million this year on maintaining and improving our essential equipment above and below ground, on supporting growth and recovery in these tough economic times, and on protecting our environment against the impacts of climate change.
Top priority for our spending will be to make sure that our customers continue to get the best possible service.
We work hard to show how money can be saved on water bills too.
Nearly 70 per cent of homes now have a water meter, so customers only pay for the water they use and not a drop more. This can save an average £100 a year, as well as help to reduce energy bills.
At the same time, we ask any customer who has problems paying their bill to get in touch as soon as possible for helpful and friendly advice. There may be a flexible payment option available or a different tariff that may better suit their needs. The important thing is to talk to us and not ignore the problem.
How will we spend £530m? Here are some examples:
- £40 million will be spent constructing a 60km pipeline from Covenham Reservoir in Lincolnshire to Boston, improving the security of supply for more than 100,000 people.
- At the same time, £14 million will allow the water treatment works at Elsham in Lincolnshire to be expanded to supply an extra 15 million litres a day to the growing number of businesses on the Humber Bank – supporting economic recovery and local jobs.
- More than £42 million will be spent increasing capacity at five sewage treatment works, in Letchworth, Colchester, Corby, Bedford and Whilton near Daventry to cope with the extra homes being built in the region in coming years. Another 36 treatment works will be upgraded.
- More than 103km of water main and 54km of sewer pipe will be renewed, while more than 1,000 homes in Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Northamptonshire will be connected to the sewer network for the first time.
- £25 million will be spent installing tens of thousands of new water meters and on replacing those which are nearing the end of their useful lives.