Brussels directives to push up water bills
Wednesday 10 July 1996
Jim Gardner, chairman of the Ofwat national customer council, said the three directives under consideration in Brussels had enough financial clout to make it inevitable there would be a "substantial impact" on customer bills.
The average household water bill is currently pounds 218. The industry will be allowed to increase charges by an average of inflation plus 1 per cent for the 10 years to 2005 to meet an investment programme already expected to cost pounds 24bn
Under the draft revised drinking water directive, water companies may have to replace all lead pipes over a 15-year period, at a cost of some pounds 2bn. This would add pounds 5 to the average domestic bill.
Proposed revisions to the bathing water directive would replace guidelines on water cleanliness with mandatory targets requiring heavy additional expenditure on sewage treatment, an Ofwat spokesman said. The third directive is an entirely new one covering demand and supply, security of supplies and measures needed to avoid droughts.
Mr Gardner said it was not yet possible to cost this directive accurately. However, he pointed out that when the urban waste water treatment directive was introduced it added pounds 44 to domestic bills. This figure was subsequently reduced to pounds 23 through efficiency improvements.
The water industry expects to spend pounds 2.8bn a year between 1995 and 2000 and pounds 1.98bn a year from 2000-2005 to meet environmental standards under current EU directives.
Mr Gardner said that the voice of water customers must be heard in Europe before any new directives were finalised.
"We need to ensure proper and genuine consultation on this major tranche of proposed measures, and to see that their impact and effectiveness is correctly costed and the resulting charges implemented at a pace with which all customers, both business and household, particularly those on low incomes, can cope," he said.
Mr Gardner was speaking as the Ofwat customer council published its annual report praising the decision by a number of companies, including North West Water, Welsh Water and Wessex Water, to appoint non-executive customer directors.
Three of the four companies in the east of the country had also agreed to adopt a binding mediation and compensation scheme under which the Ofwat customer service committee decides levels of payment.
- 1 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 2 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Kim Jong-un 'in dire need of allies' within his own government as younger sister appointed to senior role
Black Friday UK: The shops hit by chaos and violence as shopping frenzy sweeps country
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Russell Brand: 'Katy Perry? I don’t know who that is'
Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
David Cameron sets out immigration reforms: We should distrust Ukip and their 'snake-oil of simple solutions'
iJobs Money & Business
Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: EAST ANGLIA - SENIOR SOLICITOR LEVEL ROLE** -...
£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious asset management house seeks a...
£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: This is a varied role focusing on the firm's mutua...
£90000 - £140000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a high achievin...