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Water Bills in England, Wales Advance 3.5% to Reflect Inflation

Household water and sewage bills in England and Wales will rise by about 13 pounds ($20.50), or 3.5 percent, a year starting in April to keep pace with inflation.

The average annual bill will be 388 pounds, taking into account inflation of 3 percent, regulator Ofwat said today in a statement on its website. Tariffs vary depending on supplier and whether homes have a water meter.

Ofwat in 2009 announced charging levels for 2010-2015, deciding on fees that were 10 percent lower than requested by water companies amid customer pressure for cheaper tariffs. The rate of inflation is added to bills annually.

The increase in fees will help pay for a 25 billion-pound investment program to improve reliability and prevent sewer flooding, according to the regulator.

“If companies fall short in delivering their investment promises, we will take action,” Regina Finn, Ofwat chief executive officer, said in the statement. The watchdog made companies pay out 550 million pounds for underperformance in the past seven years, the statement shows.

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