LOWER BILLS FOR SOUTH WEST WATER CUSTOMERS
06th February 2020
The average South West Water bill for 2020/21 will be £20 less than the current year – the lowest it has been in thirteen years.
At the same time – with the start of a new business plan for the 2020-25 period – the company will continue to invest significantly to improve services, including launching the largest programme of environmental improvements in fifteen years.
From 1 April 2020, the company’s average annual bill for water and wastewater services will be £470.
This follows a series of below inflation rises in recent years, reflecting customer wishes to keep bills as low as possible whilst delivering the improvements they have said are most important.
By contrast, many other water companies are today announcing price increases.
While keeping bills down, South West Water’s investment highlights for 2020/21 - which will help sustain around 6,000 jobs in the region - include:
- Upgrading two water treatment works to improve water quality in Torbay and Falmouth
- Improving bathing water quality at Bude and Torbay
- Installing additional monitors across our network to find and fix leaks more quickly, even those we cannot see
- Increasing the number of response vehicles so we can restore water services more quickly if anything goes wrong
- Making targeted improvements to our sewer network to reduce pollution
Customers also continue to benefit from the £50 Government Contribution for 2020/21.
Individual customer bills will vary depending on several factors, including water usage, the rateable value of their house and whether they are on a meter or not. South West Water actively encourages householders to have a free water meter fitted as this can save customers up to £400 a year. Customers can trial a meter for two years, switching back to unmeasured charges if they decide it is not for them.
South West Water will also continue its pioneering work with Citizens Advice and social housing providers to support even more customers who find themselves in difficult circumstances and who struggle most to pay their bills. More than 57,000 customers have already benefited from South West Water’s industry-leading support schemes.
South West Water’s Customer Service Director, Jo Ecroyd, said:
“We’re committed to delivering value for money services - keeping bills down while focusing on delivering what matters most to customers. Improving the ways in which we work, including making the most of new tech and innovation, is helping us become more efficient. In turn, this enables us to protect customers from inflationary pressures, unlike other household or service bills.
“We’re proud to have spent £7 billion transforming services and the environment since 1990, redressing decades of neglect and underinvestment. As one of the biggest investors in the region, we continue to champion the interests of the South West and contribute to its economic success. Customer satisfaction is improving year on year, and we’re working hard to make our services even better.”
South West Water’s five-year ‘New Deal’ plan for 2020-25 was described by the industry regulator Ofwat as setting “a new standard for the sector”. It will see the average water and sewerage bill in 2025 being lower than it was in 2010, and extra steps taken to eliminate water poverty. At the same time the company plans to spend around £1billion to improve services, enhance the environment and strengthen resilience.
A unique feature of the New Deal is to offer customers a greater say in how the water company is run – this is WaterShare+. As part of our philosophy of sharing our success and giving customers more control in our business, WaterShare+ comprises:
- The sharing of c£20m with eligible customers in 2020, earned by outperforming our regulated 2015-20 plan
- The quarterly WaterShare+ Panel meetings in public and a customer annual general meeting (AGM) from 2020.
Eligible customers will be receiving information about WaterShare+ later in the year.
In the meantime, more information can be found on the company’s website www.southwestwater.co.uk/watershareplus
For further information please contact:
South West Water