Severn Trent customers see bills rise despite reducing water use

WATER company Severn Trent said yesterday that it had raised customers’ bills despite customers using less water.

Customer bills increased by 5.2 per cent from 1 April the utility company said in its trading update.

“Consumption across our measured income base has declined year-on-year in the period, in line with our expectations,” it said yesterday.

The company said that operating costs are set to rise due to an expected increase in inflation. However, it expects to offset these with improvements in efficiency.

Net capital expenditure is expected to be around £590m in the full year including an estimated £15m related to private drains and sewers. Meanwhile it said it is closely monitoring the level of unemployment as it directly affects water bill payments.

“We continue to forecast a bad debt level around 2.2 per cent of turnover for the full year, although we continue to monitor future developments closely, especially unemployment levels,” it said.

Severn expects “low single-digit revenue growth” in the full year.

Last month Severn Trent announced it had signed a joint venture with infrastructure expert Costain to provide complete business water and waste water management services to high volume commercial and industrial water users in the UK.

Severn Trent’s interim results will be published in November.