English and Welsh Water bills to fall 2% over next year

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Water and sewerage customers in England and Wales will see bills fall by an average of 2% - or £9 - over the coming year, the industry has announced.

Water UK said the reductions would take effect in the year starting April 2015.

It follows a ruling by the regulator, Ofwat, that prices will fall by 5% in real terms over the next five years.

The news was welcomed by the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater), which said the industry had been listening to its customers.

"This is good news for most households and reflects how the water industry has listened to what customers want on price and service," said Tony Smith, the chief executive of CCWater.

Combined Water and Sewerage Bills 2015/16
Company Average bill Change v 2014/15
Anglian £402 -£29 (-7%)
Dwr Cymru £435 -£5 (-1%)
Northumbrian £371 +£4 (+1%)
Severn Trent £329 -£4 (-1%)
South West £482 -£13 (-3%)
Southern £410 -£27 (-6%)
Thames £367 -£3 (-1%)
United Utilities £411 -£4 (-1%)
Wessex £460 -£25 (-5%)
Yorkshire £360 -£13 (-3%)
Source: UK Water

However, Mr Smith said he was concerned about poorer customers.

"Affordability remains a concern for many households and much more still needs to be done to ensure customers who are struggling or unable to pay their bill get the help they need," he said.

Water UK said it was going to provide a package of measures worth £40m to support customers who were in debt, or having difficulty paying their bills.

It said that 14 of the 18 companies would have so-called social tariffs in place by April. Such tariffs provide reduced bills for poorer customers.

"Water companies understand the pressures their customers are under and are delivering lower bills and even more support for struggling households," said Pamela Taylor, the chief executive of Water UK.

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