Water bills set to fall by 5 per cent over five years

Ofwat has told water companies to cut bills while improving services

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Water bills are set to fall from April after the industry regulator forced water companies to cut bills by 5 per cent over the next five years while improving services.

The average water and sewerage bill in England and Wales will fall by 2 per cent for the 2014-15 year, which works out at £9. However while those in the Anglian area will be handed £29 off their bills, a cut of 7 per cent, homes in the Northumbrian area will pay £4 extra, an increase of 1 per cent.

Meanwhile water firms have promised social tariffs for people who are struggling with bills. But only 14 out of 18 will have them in place by April, The other companies say they either intend to have social tariffs in place in 2016 or are currently consulting their customers about introducing a tariff scheme.

Other measures to help the hard-up include write-off schemes, debt advice and water efficiency measures to help customers on meters reduce their bills. Ofwat said the measures should help increase the number of people benefiting from financial support to about 1.8 million by 2020, double the current number.

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