Water rates to go up in Welwyn Hatfield

WATER bills across Times Territory look set to increase above the rate of inflation over the next five years. The news emerged after Hatfield-based Three Valleys Water published its final business plan for

WATER bills across Times Territory look set to increase above the rate of inflation over the next five years.

The news emerged after Hatfield-based Three Valleys Water published its final business plan for 2010 to 2015.

The plan includes proposals to raise average water prices by a total of 8 per cent plus inflation over the five-year period.

In real terms, this means the average water bill would increase from �150 per year in 2010, to �162 per year in 2015 - before taking into account inflation.


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The largest increase in rates is anticipated to be in 2010.

The Consumer Council for Water, an independent body which represents water customers, said Three Valleys Water had made some "positive changes" to its originals plans, which were submitted last year.

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David Bland, for the council, said: "The proposed overall price increase is higher than customers would have liked, but it is an improvement on the company's initial plans.

"We recognise some price increases may be necessary because of the pressures being put on all water companies to deliver high quality services for growing populations, and improving the infrastructure in order to meet tighter EU and UK standards.

Justification

"But customers will want to see the justification for any proposed price increases, and to understand exactly what they will get for the extra money."

A spokeswoman for Three Valleys Water said: "We are proposing a package of investment worth almost �0.5bn to ensure that our assets can continue to provide a reliable supply of high quality drinking water to our 3m customers which, when asked, was their top priority."

The final decision on prices for the period 2010 to 2015 is expected to be announced in November, following consultation with The Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat).

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