Sunderland water bills to rise with inflation until 2020

Northumbrian Water CEO Heidi Mottram
Northumbrian Water CEO Heidi Mottram
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NORTHUMBRIAN Water has promised its bills will not rise faster than the rate of inflation for the rest of the decade.

The firm’s business plan has been submitted to water regulator Ofwat after more than two years of planning, research and consultation with customers and after undergoing scrutiny from an independent water forum.

As part of that plan, average household water and sewerage bills will be adjusted by no more than inflation between 2015-16 and 2019-20.

The plan also lays out the company’s investment plans, which will see about £900million ploughed into service improvements between 2015 and 2020, including work to protect homes from the risk of flooding from sewers.

Chief executive Heidi Mottram said: “While we appreciate any increases in the household budget are unwelcome, we believe that our plan, which avoids any change in bills apart from an adjustment in line with inflation, will deliver the improved services that our customers are quite rightly looking for.

“Customers have told us clearly they do not wish to see service reduced in any respect – even in return for lower bills – and we will not let service deteriorate in any area.

“Given the economic situation, we have worked very hard to minimise the costs of delivering our plan and keep bills as low as possible.

“Northumbrian Water is one of the best performing companies in the industry, with bills that are already among the lowest in the country, and our sustainable five-year business plan will ensure that our bills will continue to be among the lowest in the country until 2020.

“We will ensure all customers will be made aware of the best available tariff for them.

“In addition, for customers who have difficulty paying, we will offer a comprehensive package of affordability measures, and we are committed to introducing a social tariff acceptable to our customers.”