Anglian Water and Essex & Suffolk Water bills to rise as investment continues

Essex & Suffolk Water chief executive
Heidi Mottram at the company's Abberton Reservoir, near Colch

Essex & Suffolk Water chief executive Heidi Mottram at the company's Abberton Reservoir, near Colchester. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Anglian Water (AW) has unveiled a £425m programme of investment for the the coming year, while restricting the increase in bills for its customes to 2.1%.

The company says this represents an inflation-only increase, and comes after a 7% cut in bills two years ago which was the biggest reduction of any major water supplier in the UK.

It means that AW customers on a water meter should pay an average of just under £389 in the year from April.

Customers of Essex & Suffolk Water (which, unlike AW, does not provide sewerage services) will see an average increase in their bills of around 1.7%, with a typical customer on a meter paying around £216.

Water companies are entering the third year of a five-year pricing regime announced by industry regulator Ofwat in Decemer 2014, which runs until 2020.

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AW is committed to investing around £5bn during the five-year term, in order to reduce leakage, maintain water quality and protect against drought and flooding.

Jane Taylor, head of customer services, said: “Bills are still lower than they were four years ago thanks to the price reductions we promised back then.

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“We’re always doing everything we can to be even more efficient at running the business, which translates into value for money for our customers. To strike the right balance we’re continuing to keep costs as low as possible long term while still investing heavily in the things customers care about most.”

Essex & Suffolk Water, part of the Northumbrian Water Group, is to carry out a £790m investment programme during the five-year term to maintain and improve the quality of drinking water supplies.

Spending in the year from April 2017 will total around £40m, including the renewal of 20km of water pipes and major improvement schemes at the Hanningfield, Layer and Chigwell water treatment works.

Other work will include upgrading the water supply network at Stokesby in Norfolk and Romford in East London along with replacing sea lock gates at Heybridge Basin in Essex.

Heidi Mottram, Essex & Suffolk Water chief executive, said: “Our household customers will continue to pay about 67p per day for all their drinking water and services which represents great value for money.

“We will continue to invest in schemes to provide clean, clear tap water that tastes good. We are also proud to be the only water company in the world that features on the Ethisphere Institute’s list of the world’s most ethical companies.”

Essex & Suffolk only supplies customers with water. Sewerage services for its customers are provided by Anglian Water in Suffolk, Norfolk and mid Essex or Thames Water in south Essex and Greater London.

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