personal finance

Millions of households to get lower water bills from next year as firms miss Ofwat targets

Millions of households will pay less for their water bills because their supplier failed to meet performance targets.

The industry regulator, Ofwat has finalised the amounts that underperforming companies must return to customers.

Water companies will be forced to pay out a net total of £70million to customers through bills over 2024 and 2025.

The fines for underperforming suppliers have been issued to “most” companies after the firms failed to meet key targets on reducing pollution, leakages and supply interruptions, Ofwat found.

Initially, the fine was set at £114million in September so the new figure is much lower.

Most water companies failed to meet key targets on reducing pollution, leakages and supply interruptions over the last financial year.

Ofwat judges the performance of water companies in England and Wales each year against the ‘stretching’ targets they set in 2019 for a five-year period until 2025.

Anglian Water customers will see more than £27million taken off their bills and Dwr Cymru customers, about £24million.

However, some water companies will be able to charge customers more after improving their performances, Ofwat said.

Severn Trent Water will be allowed to add £89million to the bills of its 4.6million customers from next year and United Utilities can charge more than £25million.

Households under Wessex Water, South Staffs Water and Portsmouth Water face slight additions.

Last month, Ofwat said Thames Water had ‘significant issues to address’ over its financial strength due to its massive £14billion debt pile.

Thames Water, will pay out almost £74million to its customer base of 15 million.

Ofwat said 12 firms will need to return around £193million to customers. This has been partially offset by five firms charging about £123million more, and resulting in a net total of £70million being paid out.


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