Anglian Water puts up bills to fund £444m investment plan for 2016/17

Martyn Oakley, Anglian Water�s Director of Customer and Information Services

Martyn Oakley, Anglian Water�s Director of Customer and Information Services - Credit: Archant

Anglian Water is putting up customers’ bills by 2p a day to fund a half a billion pound investment programme for the year ahead.

Aerial view of the lagoons at Anglian Water's Rutland Water

Aerial view of the lagoons at Anglian Water's Rutland Water - Credit: Archant

The water and sewage company, which operates in the East of England, says the money will be targeted at maintaining and improving customer services across the East of England and will be ploughed into the areas including water quality, reducing leakage, protecting against severe weather such as drought and flooding, and tackling the impacts of climate change.

The investment programme, part of a £5billion commitment to 2020, will be paid for by bills of £1.12 per day, or £411 per year on average – an increase of 1.4% on last year including inflation.

But the firm, stresses that bills are still lower than they were three years ago after it dropped its prices by 7% last year. It cut average bills by £29 - the biggest reduction of any major water company in the UK.

Those customers - around 85% - using metered water meter should pay an average bill of £378, or just over one pound per day, it says.

Director of customer and information services Martyn Oakley said: “Bills are back down to what they were three years ago thanks to the reductions we’ve made and the top priority we place on being efficient and offering value for money. We’re keeping costs as low as possible for the long term while investing heavily in the region in line with customer priorities.”

The £444m to be invested over the next 12 months will include £30m to tackle leakage levels.

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A further £24m will be used to maintain, refurbish and replace parts of the 37,000km water pipe network and £15m to jet and clean its sewers.

In the next year, £12m will be spent connecting hundreds more homes to the mains sewerage network for the first time, with more than £70m investment over the five years to 2020.

Around £10m – rising to £30million over the next three years – will be used to adopt and refurbish private pumping stations that will become its responsibility in 2017.

Another £8m will be invested to reduce flooding from sewers and £7m to survey and refurbish hundreds of kilometres of sewers in places like Southend, Lowestoft, Ipswich, Great Yarmouth and Beccles, and £2.4m in sludge and combined heat and power plants at places such as Colchester, Cambridge, Corby, Great Billing and King’s Lynn to ensure that its renewable supplies are resilient and efficient.

£1.3m will be used to protect and improve the region’s coastline and coastal waters by tracing and investigating sources of pollution and £1m set aside to match-fund flood projects.

Millions of pounds will be spent across Milton Keynes, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire fitting water meters, replacing old ones, and offering free water saving devices to help customers become more water efficient.

“Water meters remain the best way to save money and stay in control of your bill, with the annual average metered bill coming in £164 cheaper than without a meter,” said Mr Oakley.

“There are still almost 150,000 customers who are not using the meters they have fitted and we would urge them to switch and save.”