The cost of the average household water bill in the United Kingdom is set to fall by around £17 in 2020-21 according to Water UK.
Households in England and Wales currently pay out an average bill of £413.33. That’s set to drop to £396.60 over the course of the next financial year.
It will be the first time in three years that bills have undergone a reduction. In 2019-20, there was an £8 rise which followed on from a £9 increase in 2018-19.
Some areas will still see their bills increase however as a result of improvement works in their town or city. Households served by Yorkshire Water will see a 4% rise while Northumbrian customers are set to receive a 21% reduction.
The most expensive average water bill in the UK will be from Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, whose customers can expect to pay £451. Wales’ other water company, Hafren Dyfrdwy, are the cheapest at £300.
Here’s how much each supplier is expected to reduce or increase their bills by in 2020-21:
- Anglian: 6% reduction to £412
- Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water: 1% increase to £451
- Hafren Dyfrdwy: 1% increase to £300
- Northumbrian 21% reduction to £326
- Severn Trent: 0.5% increase to £358
- South West: 3% reduction to £470
- Southern: 2% reduction to £391
- Thames: 0.5% reduction to £394
- United Utilities: 5% reduction to £420
- Wessex: 8% reduction to £447
- Yorkshire: 4% rise to £406
The water regulator Ofwat told water companies in December that bills have to be cut by an average of £50 by 2025. These reductions are the first step towards doing so.
That was the headline announcement in the PR19 document, the report which the regulator releases every five years into the industry.
PR19 also told water companies that they have to offer further assistance to nearly 1.5 million customers who currently struggle to pay for their water.
Water UK believe that water companies can find these savings through improved efficiency, better use of data and by carrying out more leak repairs to reduce water waste. PR19 has set out a target of reducing leaks by 16% by 2025.
The 4% cut to bills means that they will be at the same level that they were a decade ago before inflation is taken into account. Water UK say, “This contrasts with the large rises in bills in other areas such as energy and rail.”
Other targets laid out by PR2019 including cutting pollution incidents by 30% and there will be a £13 billion investment in new and improved services, including major strategic pipeline projects to cope with the impact of population growth and climate change.