Water bosses announce investment plans

Ed Foss Bosses at Anglian Water confirmed their intentions for future bill increases yesterday, while announc-ing proposals to invest £2.5bn in services and infrastructure.

Ed Foss

Bosses at Anglian Water confirmed their intentions for future bill increases yesterday, while announc-ing proposals to invest £2.5bn in services and infrastructure.

Revealing plans for the years 2010 to 2015, the company said it wanted to increase bills by 0.7pc per year, excluding inflation.

Over five years the subsequent increase of 3.5pc over and above inflation would equate to an extra £13 on average water and sewerage bills by 2015. The figures compare favourably to many other parts of the country, where other water companies have announced their intentions to increase their prices by up to 16pc above inflation over the same five-year period.


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The announcement is the first stage of the five-yearly price review process. Final investment plans and the amount customers will be charged will be announced in November 2009. Anglian Water is now seeking customers' views on its plans.

Jonson Cox, Anglian Water's chief executive, said: “Our customers saw the lowest bill increases of all water and wastewater companies when prices were set back in 2005.

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“We have improved our efficiency and rank among the top water and wastewater companies in England and Wales. We are determined to keep price increases as low as we can between 2010 and 2015 by prioritising our investment and being efficient.

“We believe that this proposal represents good value for money for our customers. This relatively modest increase in customers' bills will allow us to deliver a significant investment programme to maintain high levels of service and improve the security of supply, in spite of rising costs and the long-term challenges we face.”

Sir James Perowne, chairman of the watchdog Consumer Council for Water (central and eastern), said: “We recognise that Anglian Water is facing steeply rising energy costs, and needs to carry out a lot of work by 2015 to ensure a safe, reliable service for a growing number of consumers. We are encouraged that the company is proposing to cover these costs in part through share-holder money, rather than passing the full burden on to customers.

“The average increase in annual bills of £13 before inflation, although modest, will stretch some people when added to other household price increases.

“Early signs are that it is good news for Anglian Water consumers.”

Anglian Water is inviting its customers and interested parties to comment on its draft plans before they are re-submitted to Ofwat in April 2009. Customers can give their feedback directly or via the Consumer Council for Water.

The Consumer Council for Water said it was encouraged that Welsh Water was proposing to keep bill increases in line with the rate of inflation until at least 2015. But the watchdog expressed concerns about United Utilities' proposal of an average bill increase of 11pc, a Thames Water proposal for a 16pc increase and a South West Water proposal for a 12.5pc increase.

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