Thursday 6 February 2020 11:33 am

Water bills set for £17 cut as new price controls begin

Water bills for households in the UK will be cut around £17 this year as new price controls on utilities companies come into effect.

For the average home, bills will fall from £413.33 to £396.60, taking them back to the same level as they were at the beginning of the last decade.

Read more: Water companies turn back on pledge to not pay dividends

The four per cent cut means customers will be paying roughly £1 a day for drinking water, reliable sewage, and protection of the environment.

In addition to the cut in bills, water companies will set out to double the number of customers who get financial support for their bills, from 760,000 to 1.4m in 2025.

Companies have multiple way of providing support, whether through social tariffs for households on low incomes or through schemes such as Watersure, which caps bills for customers.

Commenting on the figures, Water UK chief executive Christine McGourty said: “The water industry is committed to giving customers good value for money. For around £1 a day, customers get the world-class quality water they need and their wastewater managed responsibly.

Sign up to City A.M.’s Midday Update newsletter, delivered to your inbox every lunchtime

“Companies are also committed to investing for the future and protecting the environment, with an ambitious goal to achieve net zero carbon emissions for the sector by 2030.

“And companies are increasing the assistance available for customers who need it most. The number of people getting help to pay their water bills will almost double, whether that’s through reduced tariffs or targeted support”.

An Ofwat spokesperson said: “We continue to push companies to deliver improved services for customers, the environment and resilience for generations to come whilst making sure that bills are fair.

“Today’s announcement that water bills have fallen by an average of four per cent has been secured because we have demanded greater efficiency, passing through lower financing costs and promoting more innovation.”

In addition to the bill cuts targeted over the new five year price control plan, water companies are set to spend a collective £1bn a year on environmental programmes by 2025.

Read more: Ofwat orders water companies to cut bills by £50

The plans include improving 7,500 miles of rivers and carrying out work as part of the industry’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

The net zero commitment includes important measures such as planting 11m trees, restoring original woodland and improving natural habitats – such as peatland – which capture carbon.