Anglian Water will today put the wheels in motion on its new five year, £5billion business plan to deliver on its promise to customers. 

The water company will be investing in the areas that customers said matter most to them during Anglian Water’s biggest ever public consultation. The Business Plan this shaped is supported by more than 90 per cent of customers.

The plan promises to deliver a £60million war on leakage; investment to ensure resilient water and water recycling services, to protect customers and the environment from severe weather such as drought and flooding; and commitments to tackle the impacts of climate change.

“There is also a pledge on the cost of living,” said Martyn Oakley, Anglian Water’s Director of Customer Service. “While, committing to this multibillion pound investment programme, average customer bills are dropping by 7 per cent this year - the biggest percentage fall of all other water and sewerage companies in the UK. We’ve also introduced a brand new tariff for those struggling to pay and the Anglian Water Assistance Fund has been increased to £1million to help customers facing real financial hardship.”

The average annual bill has dropped by £29 to £402 this year, or £1.10 per day. Customers with a water meter pay even less, with the average bill dropping to £371.

Projects will be starting right across the region from today, delivered by Anglian Water and its carefully selected supply chain partners which have signed new contracts that could run for 15 years - an industry first. These longer partnerships will make the business even more efficient, collaborative and innovative, while ensuring customers are completely satisfied with the service they receive, at a price that is also as low as possible until the end of the decade.

The supply chain partners will deliver an extensive programme of work between now and 2020 but they will only recover head office costs and earn profit when they outperform Anglian Water’s business plan.

Projects include:

  • £19million in the first year of the Plan to keep leakage levels the lowest in the UK. This is part of a five year, £60million war on leakage
  • £22million to improve the resilience of our network from Grafham Water Treatment Works, which supplies water for over 1.5 million people
  • £42million investment at the water treatment works and water recycling centre in Norwich. These schemes have been designed to protect the natural environment in the River Wensum and support the predicted growth of Norwich
  • £3.5million for flood projects that will help to overcome the challenges of complex, multi-owned, and interconnected drainage networks
  • £10million to connect hundreds more homes to the mains sewerage network for the first time in the next year, with more than £70million investment over the five years
  • Over £10million to improve and protect our coastline and the region’s coastal waters
  • £60million to protect the natural environment and improve the raw water quality of the rivers and watercourses we rely on to provide our drinking water
  • £1million a year in the Anglian Water Assistance Fund to help those customers who are in financial hardship and need it the most
  • Free water efficiency home audits and water saving devices for customers across the entire Anglian Water region as part of an enhanced water efficiency offering.

Today, Anglian Water has also introduced a new tariff to help those customers who may struggle to pay their water or sewerage bill where it accounts for a significant proportion of their disposable income.

The LITE (Low Income Tariff for Eligible Households) tariff will be independently means-assessed by Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) Northampton and provide a discount on eligible customer’s bills according to their individual circumstances.

As well as making a recommendation to Anglian Water about someone’s eligibility for the tariff, CAB Northampton will also be supporting applicants to increase their income, to reduce their water usage and to signpost or refer them to sources of local advice.

LITE builds on Anglian Water’s commitment to helping vulnerable customers and the raft of measures it already provides, such as free water meters and water saving devices, the AquaCare Plus and Watersure tariffs and a special Anglian Water Assistance Fund for customers facing real hardship.

Customers who want to apply for the LITE tariff should call Anglian Water on 0800 169 3630 where specially trained advisors will be able to discuss the range of ways the company can help customers manage their bills. After a preliminary application check, customers will be referred to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau Northampton for a full eligibility assessment. Once on the tariff customers will be placed on a payment arrangement.

Martyn added: “We’ve developed the tariff in consultation with the Central and East Northamptonshire Citizens Advice Bureau and thanks to this partnership we will be helping those customers who need it most.

Martin Lord, Chief Executive of the bureau said, “We are really impressed with Anglian Water’s commitment to helping the poorest off better able meet their water costs. Anglian listened to us during the process of drawing up the policy and we think its been well designed to help people – not just by reducing what they would otherwise pay – but also allowing us to offer extra for those who need it most.”

Martyn Oakley continued: “In addition to our promise to keep bills low and help vulnerable customers in financial difficulty, we’re continuing to help customers take control of their bills. That’s why we’ve pledged to fit 95 per cent of homes with a water meter by 2020. And this doesn’t mean making metered bills compulsory because we believe the savings to be achieved speak for themselves.

“The average bill for metered customers next year will fall to £371. This compares to the average unmetered bill of £516. Almost 80 per cent of homes in our region now have a meter, but there are almost 150,000 customers who have meters but are not using them. We urge them to switch and save.

“We’ve also enhanced our popular water efficiency offering, meaning customers across the entire East of England can now apply for a free water efficiency audit in their home from a registered plumber who will fit water saving devices and offer other water saving tips.

Metered customers can take advantage of these benefits by calling Anglian Water. It’s free to switch to a meter, and people will join the majority of our customers who, on average, have saved £100 a year. There is even switch back guarantee, for free, within two years if customers aren’t satisfied.

More information on Anglian Water’s tariffs and the support available for those who struggle to pay their bill is available on the Anglian Water website at

Business Plan highlights

  • A promise on the cost of living
    “We cut average bills by 7 per cent this year, outstripping the rest of the water industry. We will keep increases in average water bills well below inflation for the next five years helping bills remain broadly flat to 2020.
  • £60 million will be spent in a war on leaks, to take the company’s leakage level even lower.
    “We hate leaks as much as our customers do,” said Anglian Water CEO, Peter Simpson. “We’re already at record low levels, beating targets and leading the industry. We have fewer leaks than ever before, but we determined to do even more”.
  • Extra help for the more vulnerable
    “We’ll increase to £1 million each year the help available for customers who struggle to pay. And we’ll launch a special tariff for those in need of support.”
  • Putting customers in control of their bill by connecting 95% of households to a water meter by 2020, but not forcing anyone to use them
    “More people than ever before will be in control of how much they use, and how much they pay,” said Simpson. “But there won’t be a compulsory programme to force people to use them. Meters save water, and our customers told us they think it’s the fairest way to pay for what they use.”
  • Almost £100 million will be spent to protect against things like flood, fire and drought.
    “Extreme weather is becoming the new norm,” said Simpson. “A changing climate means we’re going to see more unusual weather, more often. We need to plan for this, because we don’t want anything to get in the way of a safe, clean, reliable supply of water.”
  • Build on the £2.2 billion it has invested since privatisation to transform the quality of water in the environment.
    “We’re passionate about a flourishing and healthy environment” said Simpson, “after all, the countryside is everyone’s big back garden and we’ll do everything we can to protect the countryside,” said Simpson. “And we’ll do this while helping the economy to recover, and the region to grow.”