Water Bills on the Up

February 22, 2006 at 3:37 pm

As if huge gas and electricity bill rises were not enough this year so far, Ofwat have just announced that our water bills are also set to rise in April by an average of 5.5%. In real terms this means approximately £15 will be added to the average water bill.

The price rises are attributed to rising delivery, sewage disposal and environmental regulation compliance charges and on a positive note Ofwat are assuring customers that they extra costs will allow water companies to continue to make further improvements to water quality, the environment and help reduce sewer flooding.

The largest blow will be felt by South West Water customers who will see a 9.4% increase. United Utilities Water and Wessex Water will see 7%+ added to their costs, Thames Water an extra 4.6% and the Anglian Water customers will see the smallest increase at only 2.4%

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Scottish Water Watchdog Launched

February 22, 2006 at 3:16 pm

Waterwatch will be the new watchdog for the whole of Scotland. It has been launched by Ministers to deal with complaints about Scotland wide water company, Scottish Water.

Waterwatch will represent customers on issues such as burst drains, damaged sewage systems and increase in water charges. Last year the water company dealt with 747 of these complaints in house.

Scottish water received the most fines for polluting rivers, streams and beaches in 2005, 11 in total, with £41,500 worth of fines – more than any other UK water company. Part of the reason for this bad record are old pipe networks and supplying such a large area. Future investment is being made however, with £2.1bn planned spend over the next four years.

Scottish Water welcome the launch of Waterwatch, commenting that their customers views are vital during this major investment period.

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Most expensive water bills in the country

February 10, 2006 at 3:34 pm

South West Water customers, living in the Devon and Cornwall area are paying the highest water bills in the country. The average bill in this area is £414 which contrasts greatly with an average of £254 paid by Thames Water customers in London. For water company rate information see our water rates page.

Before privatisation in 1989 most people paid a similar amount for their water bills but huge differences can now be seen in bills for several reasons. Devon and Cornwall is a desirable area to live in and more of a strain is being felt on the regions water budget. There is also a dispersed rural community with less people spread over a larger area compared with the larger cities so there are less customers to take the impact when bills increase.

As customers in this area pay so much, they are being invited to attend a discussion chaired by CCWSW, the regional watchdog, where issues such as customer grievances, policies on water meters and updates on river flows will be discussed.

Customers who are considering switching to a meter may benefit from the information offered. The meeting will be held on 16.02.06 in Exeter and those wishing to attend should call CCWater South West on 0139 242 8028.

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Could the Thames run dry?

February 5, 2006 at 3:34 pm

Yet more news of the dry South East with reports of the Thames flowing at a severely low level. The river is at a third of its usual level for February in parts of South West London.

Historically low rainfall levels has left the South so dry with last year being the third driest since records began. The environment Agency is urging water companies to encourage the use of low water use appliances and to install more water meters so customers pay for exactly what they are using and are more aware of wastage.

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