One crucial household bill that will rise far SLOWER than inflation: Typical annual water cost will nudge £7 higher
- Average water bills for the coming year are forecast to rise by £7 to £419
- The average cost comes at £1 per day increasing by 2p per day
- Around 1.1m households receive help with their water and sewage bills
- This figure is expected to rise to at least 1.4m by 2025
As the cost of living rises and energy prices soar to record highs, households will have small respite in a below inflation rise in water costs.
Annual water and sewage bills in England and Wales are forecast to rise 1.7 per cent – an average increase of £7 per year, to total £419.
The average cost of water comes at just over £1 per day – an increase of 2p on last year, with the rise falling well below the current consumer price inflation measure of 5.2 per cent.
Water bills are also lower than they were a decade ago in real terms, as the average yearly bill has fallen within the last two years, Water UK says.
Easier to swallow: Water bills in England and Wales are expected to rise by 1.7%, far below the average CPI rate of inflation
This below-inflation average bill increase comes in the third year of a 5-year business cycle for water companies.
Water companies in England and Wales are investing £10billion in 2022-23, as part of a £51billion investment package over the five years from 2020 to 2025.
However, a record 1.1 million customers are receiving support to help pay their water bills, as experts predict the number could rise significantly in the coming years.
The number of households expected to need support to pay for the rising cost of water is set to swell to 1.4million by 2025.
And, since the Covid-19 pandemic began, more than 100,000 customers have been given payment breaks.
Companies are offering more support than ever by reducing bills for low income households and capping customer bills at the average yearly charge.
Christine McGourty, chief executive of Water UK, said: ‘Customers will continue to pay little more than £1 a day for their water and sewerage service, helping to directly fund significant investment in improving infrastructure and enhancing the environment.
‘But we know this a difficult time for many, and no-one should have to worry about their household essentials.
‘There is a wide range of support available for those in need, and I would urge anyone who’s concerned to get in touch with their water company.’
Support is available through the Priority Services Register, which supports range of people, from those with sight, hearing, or mobility difficulties, to parents with babies under 12 months old.
There is also support available through the WaterSure scheme, which caps bills for low-income customers who need water for essential family or health reasons.
Since the water industry was privatised, more than £160billion has been invested improving services and enhancing the environment, the industry body dats.
This has resulted in customers being five times less likely to suffer from supply interruptions, eight times less likely to suffer from sewer flooding and 100 times less likely to have low water pressure.
Investment will help improve services for customers while also protecting and enhancing the environment.
Schemes for the forthcoming year include Severn Trent investing £75million to alleviate flooding in Mansfield, Anglian Water’s £124 million water resilience project and Thames Water’s Smart Meter Water efficiency project.
|Examples of other initiatives set up by water companies to support customers include:|
|South East Water data sharing project||The project partners with local councils to identify households on a low income so those who are eligible can be automatically transferred to a more affordable tariff without a need to apply.|
|Severn Trent Big Difference Scheme||The scheme offers a reduction of water bills to any Severn Trent customer with a household income below £16,385, with some customers receiving up to 90% off the average Severn Trent bill.|
|Anglian Water’s Extra Care Support||The scheme offers a reduction of water bills to any Severn Trent customer with a household income below £16,385, with some customers receiving up to 90% off the average Severn Trent bill.|
|Thames Water Customer Assistance Fund||The fund helps customers who are experiencing financial hardship and can help to clear debt if someone is struggling to pay previous water bills.|
|United Utilities’ North West Hardship Hub||The online portal brings financial assistance schemes and information to the public, as the Hardship Hub helps debt advisers identify the right support for the people need it most.|
|South West Water WaterCare tariff||The tariff offers a range of support including benefit entitlement, checks to help customers maximise their income, water efficiency checks and a comprehensive affordability toolkit, all of which can reduce bills by up to 85%.|