Ofwat plug water bills

water sharks Household water bills in England and Wales will rise by less than the cost of living in the next five years, thanks to regulator Ofwat. As for the rest of Britain, we've no idea. Probably because water rates are a very sore topic in Northern Ireland and Scotland is probably buggering off to go solo.

The regulator says that bills will be an average of 5% lower, before inflation is applied, by 2019-20.

Thames Water, Bristol Water and United Utilities had already been told that they needed to sort themselves out and start rethinking the way they did things, as their assessments were wildly different to Ofwat's estimates.

All the water and sewage companies can respond to the Ofwat proposals by 3rd October, with the regulator making the final decision by mid December. Changes will come into play from 1st April 2015.

That's all good isn't it? Nope.

Fact is, water companies can still raise their prices in line with inflation, so we'll most likely to see our bills rising, which is not at all surprising.

Sonia Brown, chief regulation officer at Ofwat, said: "Some companies provided excellent, customer-focused plans. Others did not include sufficient evidence to justify their plans, and so we stepped in to make sure customers get a fair deal."

"These are draft decisions and things could still change. Companies will be looking hard at where they need to submit new evidence and we will also continue to challenge hard to make sure that our final decisions result in the best possible deal for customers."

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