Water groups defy price cut demand
Saturday 10 April 1999
Thames, the country's largest water and sewerage company, proposed cutting bills by 5 per cent in the year 2000, taking pounds 10 off the average bill of pounds 205. But it wants bills to rise by 2.5 per cent above inflation in the succeeding four years.
Scottish Power, owner of Southern Water, brushed aside demands for a cut, proposing to raise bills 3.5 per cent next year and 3 per cent above inflation until 2005. Bristol Water wants an initial rise in real terms of 1.5 per cent next year and 1 per cent each year until 2005.
The proposals are in stark contrast to demands for hefty price cuts from Ian Byatt, director-general of Ofwat, last October. In Southern's case, he wanted a 17.5 per cent price cut next year.
Nigel Hawkins, utilities analyst at Williams de Broe, said: "There's a gap between the proposals of Ofwat and Thames Water, but with Scottish Power it's more like a chasm."
All water companies have been told to hand Ofwat their proposals for cutting bills while paying out for major environmental improvements demanded by the Government.
"Our plan will provide greater environmental improvements and deliver a stable price regime over the entire price control period in line with our customers' preferences," said Ian Russell, chairman of Southern Water.
Mr Byatt has indicated he is likely to soften his proposals because of the scale of investment the water companies will have to make under the Government's environmental programme.
Thames Water is planning to invest pounds 2.5bn to enhance the taste and appearance of drinking water, and to improve effluence flowing into shallow rivers.
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 2 Fifa corruption: Europe plots to stage an 'alternative World Cup' in place of Russia 2018
- 3 How much sex should I be having?
- 4 Jaden Smith wears gender fluid dress to high school prom with Hunger Games actress
- 5 Betting company 'refuse to pay' after student wins £1,000 from 50p bet on Roger Federer
Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, reveals new look on Annie Leibovitz shot Vanity Fair cover
Russian military jets and US destroyer clash in Black Sea 'posing danger to stability'
Ed Miliband returns to the backbenches but it's all a bit awkward as he tries to avoid eye-contact with fellow Labour MPs
Photographer who performed naked shoot in China's Forbidden City sparks outrage
Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
iJobs Money & Business
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...
£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...
£25 - £30K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a highly-motivated and ambitious Comm...
£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...