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Ofwat proposes 5% cut in water bills

Water bills are set to fall by around 5% in real terms between 2015 and 2020, under new draft proposals from Ofwat.

The figure is based on the regulator’s draft determination on price controls for all 18 water companies in England and Wales.

All of the major UK water firms are thought to have proposed reduced bills in their business plans for the five-year period submitted to Ofwat in June, with the exception of Thames Water and Dee Valley Water.

Under the price proposals, the regulator said there would be more than £43bn of investment, cleaner water at more than 50 beaches, and more than 340 million litres a day saved by tackling leakage and promoting water efficiency.

There now follows a period of consultation when companies and other stakeholders can make representations to Ofwat. Final decisions will be published in December.

Cathryn Ross, chief executive of Ofwat said: “Some will find this tough, but companies which really stretch themselves will reap the benefits of increased customer trust and confidence.”

Sonia Brown, chief regulation officer said: “Some companies provided excellent, customer-focused plans. Others did not include sufficient evidence to justify their plans, and so we stepped in to make sure customers get a fair deal. These are draft decisions and things could still change.”

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