Cost of water may dip in Comet country

THE cost of water may dip for households in Comet country. Regulator Ofwat s draft decision on how much Veolia Water Three Valleys (formerly Three Valleys Water) can charge its customers for the next five years was today (Thursday) welcomed by the Consume

THE cost of water may dip for households in Comet country.

Regulator Ofwat's draft decision on how much Veolia Water Three Valleys (formerly Three Valleys Water) can charge its customers for the next five years was today (Thursday) welcomed by the Consumer Council for Water.

Ofwat has said that Veolia Water Three Valleys should be able to reduce average prices by 11 per cent by 2015 before taking inflation into account. This could mean that the company's average annual water bill would decrease from �160 in 2010 to �142 in 2015 before inflation.

David Bland, chairman of the Consumer Council for Water in London and the South East, said: "Veolia Water Three Valleys was originally proposing price increases that only a third of customers said that they could accept.


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"Following pressure from the Consumer Council for Water, and in light of the changing economic climate, the company looked to see where it could make savings and where work could be spread over more time to reduce proposed price increases from almost 12 per cent above inflation, to eight per cent above inflation by 2015.

"However, we did not believe that the company went far enough, and we pressed Ofwat to bring prices down to a level which more customers would find favourable. We are pleased that Ofwat has gone further, and is recommending a cap on bill increases which would be more in line with what many Veolia Water Three Valleys customers might be willing to pay.

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"Over the next month we will take time to go over Ofwat's draft decisions in detail, to make sure those areas consumers told us are their priorities have not been compromised, or cut altogether from the company's plans, and that nothing has been left out of the plans that could mean higher prices in the future.

"We will be asking customers what they think of Ofwat's draft decisions through customer research, and we would also welcome anyone to give us their views by visiting www.ccwater.org.uk

"We will make customers' views known to Ofwat to make sure that the regulator takes consumers' priorities into account when they make their final decision on prices in November.

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