Water bills rise but still offer excellent value for money

31 January 2012

South Staffs Water today announced that average bills will rise by £10 for 2012-13.

The increase has been agreed with our Regulator, Ofwat who sets price limits to ensure water companies can maintain and improve services and meet quality targets set by the EU.

The increase is necessary to fund investment to maintain our network of 6,000 km of underground pipes as well as repair, replace and improve other assets such as reservoirs and pumping stations.

Pumping water around the region is expensive – almost 10% of the average water bill is spent on electricity to treat and pump water.

Customer Services Director Rachel Barber said:

"Water bills represent excellent value for money. A litre of clean, high-quality tap water costs about 0.1p and South Staffs Water customers pay one of the lowest average bills in England and Wales – at less than 40p per day."

"We will continue to invest to improve services for our customers. This year, for example, we will be investing almost £2 million at our major water treatment works, replacing worn out equipment and improving water treatment and £7 million replacing water mains throughout our region."

South Staffs Water recognises that some customers may find paying bills difficult, particularly in the current climate. The Company has a range of payment options available to help customers to budget, including weekly, fortnightly and monthly payment plans.

For customers in extreme hardship, South Staffs Water funds an independent Charitable Trust, which may be able to help customers willing to make regular payments with some of their arrears. The trust can be contacted on 0300 3300033.

Rachel added:

"Customers with difficulty paying their bill should contact us straight away, as we may be able to help. Customers using low amounts of water may also want to consider opting for a free meter, which may help them save money."