Pirate FM News

Cornwall's Water Bills Set to Fall

Water Running Tap

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:32am 12th December 2014 (Updated 4:52am 15th December 2014)

It looks like we could be paying less for our water in Cornwall.

The regulator has told companies how much they can charge families over the next five years.

Under Ofwat's figures, the average combined bill for South West Water customers will fall 7% before inflation, from £545 this year to £506 by 2020.

That does not include the £50 a year contribution from the government.

Ofwat says customers will see improved levels of service too.

Across the UK, we are being told that companies are set to spend more than £44 billion or around £2000 for every household in England and Wales over the next five years.

By 2020 customers will benefit from substantial improvements in areas of service that really matter to them, including:

More than 370 million litres a day saved by tackling leakage and promoting water efficiency – enough water saved to serve all of the homes in Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds;
A reduction in the time lost to supply interruptions (down on average 32%);
4,700 fewer properties flooded by sewer water;
Cleaner water at more than 50 beaches.

The number of people benefiting from financial support will more than double to around 1.8 million by 2020. Currently around 760,000 people benefit from some form of financial support from their water company. Over the next five years, companies are putting in place measures, such as social tariffs, which are forecast to help an additional one million people.

Following direct engagement with a quarter of a million customers across England and Wales, companies submitted their plans to Ofwat in December 2013, proposing bills drop by almost 2% in real terms. Ofwat has worked with companies since then to deliver a further £3 billion savings for customers. This means average bills will be going down by 5% in real terms, and these savings will also help reduce bills after 2020. As well as challenging on price, Ofwat has also made sure companies are stretching themselves on service. This includes larger reductions in supply interruptions, pollution incidents, and further improvements to drinking water quality.

Ofwat's announcement includes the decision to lower further the weighted average cost of capital (WACC), which is the minimum rate of return that lenders or investors require to support investment in the sector. Since its initial proposal of a WACC of 3.85%, Ofwat has updated its decision to reflect current market evidence on required returns, resulting in a WACC of 3.74%.

Jonson Cox, Chairman of Ofwat said: "This is an important step in maintaining customers' trust and confidence in the water sector. We set out to deliver a challenging but fair outcome. We are requiring companies to meet higher service standards and deliver on their promises to customers. We are bringing down bills so customers can expect value for money, while investors can earn a fair return. Companies will need to stretch themselves to deliver much more with the same level of funding as in previous years. We will achieve more resilient infrastructure and better service as a result."

Cathryn Ross, Chief Executive of Ofwat said: "With bills held down by five per cent and service driven up over the next five years, customers will get more and pay less. Where companies stepped up to do the best they could for their customers we did not need to intervene. But where companies fell short we stepped in to make sure customers get a good deal. Now the hard work begins. Companies will only build trust and confidence with their customers if they deliver. Those who do can look forward to fair returns, while those that don’t will be hit in the pocket and face a tough five years ahead."

New charges will come into effect in April 2015. Companies have two months in which to accept Ofwat's final determination, or seek a referral to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

some great deals from pirate fm

Contact Us

If you would like to submit a query or provide more information on this story please get in touch below.

Please wait...
  • Up to 3 JPG or PNG images, 2MB max size
  • We will always endeavour to credit you when we publish your pictures.
  • By uploading you are agreeing to this non-exclusive reuse, royalty-free, across all Pirate FM platforms, which extends to our partner broadcasters.
  • You retain copyright to all images.
  • If you would like to send us a video, please upload to YouTube or similar and paste the video URL into the message above.
Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Pirate FM

Suggested articles

Dog has 'lucky escape' after cliff fall in Cornwall

Cornwall News: Coastguards called to Godrevy shared a fresh warning

Rock fall death sparks a warning to Cornwall

Cornwall News: A nine-year-old girl died on a beach up country

Trending in Cornwall

A woman's desperate bid to save a young man in Cornish woods

The camper was hit by a falling tree at Tehidy

Fears grow for woman missing from Camborne

Kathleen Cutler vanished almost three weeks ago

Huge fire tears through bungalow in Cornwall

Team had reports of people trapped at Bugle

VIDEO: Mass rip current rescues off Cornwall

Seven people were being swept out to sea

WATCH: Britain's Got Talent is back in Cornwall

This could be your time to shine!

LIVE: Car crash leaves Westminster on lockdown

Man questioned on suspicion of terror offences

Man dies after a 'freak accident' in Cornish woods

Police confirm he was struck by a tree at Tehidy

Robbery at jewellers in Penzance town centre

Items were stolen and police are searching for the suspect

PHOTOS: Abusive messages left on poorly parked car

Dead fish and dog poo were also left on the vehicle in St Ives

WATCH: The Red Arrows return to Falmouth

Check this full guide to travel and the best views

More news...

Pirate Extra Pirate 70s Escape LoveCornwall