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Tuesday 05 February 2013 Updated: 05/02 17:00
WATER and sewage bills are set to rise by an average of £7 for households in Worcestershire but will still be the lowest in the country.
The average combined bill for Severn Trent customers will rise to £335 for 2013/14 - an increase of 2.2 per cent.
But figures released by regulator Ofwat show that Severn Trent will continue to offer the lowest average combined bill for water and sewage in England and Wales, with many other companies charging more than £400.
Simon Mullan, credit manager at Severn Trent Water, said: “Any price rise, however small, is unwelcome in the current economic climate, but we have worked hard to keep bills as affordable as possible for our customers. In fact our customers will be paying an average of 92 pence a day - that’s less than the average cost for a litre of bottled water.
“In addition we want to make sure that our customers continue to receive a high-quality, cost-effective service through our investment programme. As a result, over the last 12 months we have invested more than £500 million in renewing and replacing our network of water to reduce leaks and bursts, and sewer pipes to prevent sewer flooding."
Regina Finn, Ofwat Chief Executive Officer, defended the latest rise in bills and said increases had remained broadly in line with inflation.
“We understand that there is huge pressure on household incomes, and any rise is unwelcome. Inflation is driving these increases," she said.
“These rises will help pay for investment of around £1000 for every household in England and Wales. This will deliver real benefits - from continuing to improve the reliability of supplies to dealing with the misery of sewer flooding for thousands of customers.
“We will make sure customers get value for money, and if companies fall short in delivering their investment promises, we will take action. In the past seven years, we have made companies pay out around £550 million where they have underperformed.”
The new charges come into effect from April 1.
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