Watchdog says Norfolk and Suffolk water bills must be cut by 10.5pc over five years
PUBLISHED: 12:50 16 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:15 16 December 2019
Water bills in our region should be cut by 10.5pc over the next five years, watchdogs have said.
And that would slash the average annual bill for Anglian Water customers from £422 to £378.
Water companies have to submit their five year business plans to the regulator Ofwat, which decides how much they can raise and charge.
Anglia Water submitted its £6.7bn plan for 2020-25 last September.
But watchdogs had said there were concerns about the water company's plans, when it published its draft response earlier this year.
With all water companies expected to become more efficient, to help drive down bills, Anglian Water had proposed a 1.4pc reduction in bills.
However, in the final determination published this week, Ofwat said the company must cut bills by 10.5pc over those five years.
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That would reduce the average annual bill from £422 to £378, although that is before inflation.
Ofwat says Anglian Water can generate £6.1bn in revenue over the five years, less than the £6.8bn the company had hoped.
The determination allows Anglian Water to invest £1.43bn in improvements to service, resilience and the environment.
However, Ofwat agreed, after representations from the company, to "significantly increase" how much can be spent on the interconnector programme - a scheme which joins up water sources to meet demand.
The amount available for that will go up from £242m to £305m, although Anglian Water had hoped for £344m.
Anglian Water said it was still working through the detail of Ofwat's determination.
Peter Simpson, chief executive of Anglian Water, said: "Over the coming weeks we will be reviewing the feedback from Ofwat regarding the final determination of our 2020 business plan.
"We are confident about the plan submitted and worked very closely with our customers and stakeholders, to ensure that our programme of work up to 2025 was going to deliver the right outcomes for our customers, our region, and our environment."
Anglian Water has the option to ask for the whole of Ofwat's determination to be referred to the Competition and Markets Authority for review.