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Lower water bills arrive for customers around Yorkshire

Millions of people around Yorkshire will begin to receive their new, lower water bills from this week as the average bill drops by £13.

Yorkshire Water’s charges will fall by 3%, reducing the average annual figure from £373 to £360 and ensuring the company’s five million customers continue to have some of the lowest bills in the country.

And the good news is that, despite the lower water bills, the company will still invest more than £3.8 billion in the region’s water and sewerage services over the next five years.

Yorkshire Water Chief Executive Richard Flint said the company’s £3.8 billion investment would drive significant improvements in customer service, as well as delivering major environmental benefits across the region.

“This is great news for our customers who already benefit from having some of the lowest bills in the UK,” he said.

“When pulling together our plan, more than 30,000 customers gave us their views on what they thought we should be investing in. Our consultation programme was the biggest of all the water and sewerage companies, so we’re confident that it represents real value for money for our customers.

“As a company that prides itself on taking care of the water environment, we’re looking forward to building on the excellent work we’ve already undertaken to help improve the region’s reservoir catchments, countryside, rivers and streams,” said Mr Flint.

As the new bills reach customers, Yorkshire Water is encouraging more and more people to pay by direct debit. For every customer that makes the switch, Yorkshire Water has pledged to donate money to charity WaterAid.

Over a third of the company’s £3.8 billion investment plan is aimed at protecting and enhancing the region’s water environment, with £180 million alone set aside to improve the quality of Yorkshire’s inland waterways.

Other investments include:

£1.3 billion will be used to maintain the company existing and extensive network of treatment works, pumping stations, sewers and pipes

£220 million will be used to meet the challenges posed by issues like population growth

£50 million will be used to further improve drinking water quality

£10 million will be used to assist fish migration through Yorkshire’s river network, with the creation of numerous new fish passes

Customers will receive official notification of their new charges early in 2015, with further communications and bills being distributed between February and May.

“We’re looking forward to working closely with local communities to deliver our plan in the most effective and efficient way possible. We’re proud of the fact that we’re currently the most financially efficient water and sewerage company in the UK and we’re committed to ensuring that we continue to deliver value for money and invest in the things our customers say are important to them,” said Mr Flint.

He added that helping customers who were genuinely struggling to pay their bills will remain a high priority for the company which will shortly be piloting a new ‘social tariff’ to help those in most need of financial assistance. A trial version of this scheme is currently in place.

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