March 5, 2011 at 2:36 pm
For hard pressed home owners who are struggling with increased bills for gas, electricity, food, and drink, there is bad news on the horizon from the water industry regulator, Ofwat.
Price increases relating to each of the major water companies are to be announced shortly, but it seems that the worst hit customers will be those in the South West of England. The average bill for the 1.3 million South West Water Company households is expected to break the £500 barrier from April this year, going from £487 to £527. By way of explanation for the apparently large increase, South West Water has said that it has to clean up 30% of the country’s coastline but only has 3% of the country’s households as customers.
Consumers in the north of England are somewhat luckier, with the average bill for a Northumbrian Water customer expected to increase from a low £311 to £338.
The national average for a water bill is expected to go up from £364 to £384.
The increased revenue from water bills will be used to fund investment in the infrastructure and mend leaks. Northern Ireland hit the headlines in December when the lack of investment had catastrophic results, with home owners left without water for days on end.
With consumers having no choice over who supplies their water, the only way to save money, apart from reducing the amount used, is to have a water meter installed. For households with more bedrooms than occupants, a meter is almost guaranteed to save on bills.