Water rates to drop in price by so little that it's almost insulting

26 November 2009

Britons. It's time to stop dreaming of that speedboat you always wanted. It's time to start planning that holiday to Argentina. Why? Because you're about to be hit with untold riches.

The water watchdog Ofwat (I know, I keep adding a 'T' as well) revealed today that over the next five years, our water rates will be reduced by £3.

Initially, it was proposed that our rates would fall by £14, but that's just ludicrous isn't it? I mean, you could buy a Premiership full-back for that kind of money!

Of course, whether bills rise or fall will depend on how much water you piss away, or indeed, dependent on where you live. The Guardian reports that customers of Essex and Southern Water will face a jump of 13% in price. Thames Water will be allowed to raise prices by 3%.

Hang on. That's not a price-cut at all is it?

Despite the fact that one-in-five customers think they're being short-changed, Ofwat chief executive Regina Finn said: "Customers have told us that they want us to keep water and sewage charges flat while maintaining a safe, reliable supply of water. That's what we've delivered.

"There's more to this than just low bills, it's about what customers get for their money. We've scrutinised every pound in the companies' plans to make sure they deliver what customers want."

The Institution of Civil Engineers added: "Water companies will need to invest heavily in maintaining, upgrading and building new infrastructure in coming years if we are to meet growing demand, while always ensuring best value for the consumer.

"We have seen what happens when key infrastructure fails over the last few days, with hundreds of people without water or power in Cumbria."

This will no doubt irritate the people of Northern Ireland to the point where their teeth become dust as they don't pay water rates at all... yet.  In the meantime, we can all dream about what we'll spend our annual savings on (dependent on where we actually live of course). See you at the Ferrari showrooms.

TOPICS:   Utilities


  • Darren W.
    I must be one of the lucky ones then, my statement came through this morning, mine has dropped from £75 a month to £58 a month... Im happy with that!
  • Matt
    "The water watchdog Ofwat (I know, I keep adding a ‘T’ as well)" I thought i was the only one who called them Tofwat!
  • james d.
    welsh water gave me a £20 divdend in my last bill, they are so awesome. I genuinely think Welsh Water are the best utilities company in the UK.
  • speedski
    I really don't care, out of all the utlities Water is the only one I consider exceptional value for money. Ironically its those electricity companies who make money off hydro energy who don't even pay for the water to make the energy which really piss me off and should be told to reduce prices significantly.
  • Mark T.
    you find it insulting? So why don't you have a private septic tank and rely on an underground well for your fresh water supply? Oh and when a burst water main cannot be repaired or replaced, dont go moaning that the water companies don't do enough. Stupid naive article
  • no r.
    we in n.ireland do pay water rates, its just that it is included in our rates bill very year!
  • maxtweenie
    @Darren W. £75 a month? Bloody hell man, do you live in a swimming pool? Even with two teenage girls constantly showering and washing their hair I only pay £30 a month.
  • David
    The whole market for water is a nonsense anyway. The companies charge whatever they can get away with. There is no competition. The government sets the prices. I just don't see what part of it isn't a monopoly in favour of the shareholders.
  • Darren W.
    @Maxtweenie, I thought £75 a month was reasonable... its a newbuild home... so i know im on a meter.
  • Mark
    @ Darren W Are you sure you don't have a (quite major) leak? Or are you paying for your neighbours water too? My monthly payment has just gone up to £26 and that's a family of four in a four bedroomed house (in the Yorkshire area).
  • jsoap
    re - no water rates in NI, you are of course correct that water is paid out of the regional rate, however it has to be said that contributions per household are less than half that paid by the rest of the UK, and local expenditure is greater. Water rates will be phased in, and it will be an incremantal cost of at least £170 pa
  • Ten B.
    [...] Still waters may run deep, but there’s nothing doing in the water rates pricing lake – we’ll save £3 in the next half-decade. [...]

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