Water charges to rise – but will remain amongst the lowest in the UK
South Staffs Water today announced that bills will rise in line with inflation by an average £3 for 2013-14.
The increase has been agreed with government appointed Regulator, Ofwat, which sets price limits to ensure water companies can maintain and improve services and meet quality targets set by the EU.
The 3 per cent rise will see the average water bill for SSW customers rise from £141 during the current financial year, to £144 for the 12 months beginning April 1st. This is about 23 per cent lower than the national average for water services. SSW also bills customers on behalf of Severn Trent for sewerage services and, including these charges, the average combined bill for SSW customers remains the cheapest in England and Wales.
The increase is necessary to fund a £30m investment plan during 2013-14 to maintain and improve our network of underground pipes, as well as other assets such as reservoirs and pumping stations, so that we can continue to reduce leaks and improve our services to customers.
Customer Services Director, Rachel Barber, said:"Water bills continue to represent excellent value for money for our customers. On average, the tap water we provide costs less than 40p a day."
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, as well as a capped bill scheme, WaterSure, which some customers may be eligible for.
Rachel added:"If customers are having problems paying their bill, we would ask that they ring us straight away on: 0845 60 70 456 to discuss, in confidence, their situation and we'll do our best to help. But we can only help if we are aware of the problem.
"For those customers using low amounts of water, they may want to consider opting for a free meter, which could help them save money. There is also advice on how to save on water on our website, www.south-staffs-water.co.uk."