Bristol Water bill cut ordered by Ofwat challenged
Bristol Water said it will challenge an order to reduce its bills over the next five years.
The water regulator Ofwat told the company it needs to cut bills by 23%, but the utility argues this will reduce investment.
It wants a 4.5% cut over the period and will appeal to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
The Consumer Council for Water said it hoped the CMA will reflect what customers want at a price they accept.
'Discrepancy in calculations'
The council said it would be asking Bristol Water's customers for their views on Ofwats's decision and Bristol Water's proposals, then sharing the findings with the CMA.
Bristol Water said it had planned to spend £531m between 2015 and 2020 - allowing for an average reduction of 4.5% (£9).
But in its Final Determination Ofwat said the company's expenditure should be set at £409m and the average bill should be cut to £167 in the first year, followed by four years at £152.
Bristol Water said it did not believe the determination is in the long term interests of customers and believed there is "clearly a discrepancy in calculations".
Chief executive Luis Garcia said: "It [makes it] very difficult for us maintain our levels of service and make sufficient investment to deliver the enhancements needed to improve and protect the water supply.
The Final Determination sets the allowed levels of total expenditure and investment companies can make to improve and protect water supplies.
It also sets price controls which apply to companies' retail and wholesale activities and determines the level of customers' bills over the next five years.
Bristol Water supplies water to 1.2 million people in the greater Bristol area.