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Customer review:

Water bills to rise above inflation

Ofwat, the industry regulator for water and sewerage providers in England and Wales, has announced that household water and sewerage bills are set to rise by 5.7% (0.5% above inflation) in 2012, bringing the average bill to £376 a year.

Although the rise is slightly above the rate of inflation it is still below the 10% price increase water companies have been asking for.

Regina Finn, Ofwat's chief executive officer said: "When we set limits on prices, we listened to customers. They told us they wanted bills kept down, while maintaining safe, reliable water supplies. We challenged companies hard to deliver this.

"Our decision meant that, before inflation, average bills would remain broadly stable between 2010-15. We understand that any bill rise is unwelcome, particularly in tough economic times. Inflation feeds through into water bills, and this is driving these rises."

Part of the deal calls on water companies to invest £22 billion by 2015 to improve reliability of supplies and to improve cleanliness of river and beaches. Finn went on to say: "If companies don’t deliver on their investment promises, we will take action."

The bill changes come into effect from the beginning of April. Changes to your bill will vary, depending on the company you are with and whether or not you have a water meter.

If you do have a water meter it’s now, more than ever, in your interest to do all you can to save water. Recycling grey water to use in the garden can help, as well as fixing water saving features in your bathroom and putting a Hippo in your cistern. Not a real one though; they need a little more space.

[Image: contemplicity]

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