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Lower bills under updated water plan

Southern Water customers are set to benefit from lower average bills after the company updated its Business Plan for 2015 to 2020.

It is now proposed that average bills will rise by 3.2 per cent less than the rate of inflation. This compares with an increase of 1.5 per cent below inflation in the plan put forward to the water industry regulator Ofwat in December last year.

Matthew Wright, Southern Water’s Chief Executive, said: “We have worked hard to respond to Ofwat’s feedback on our plan and this means we can now provide even better value for money for our customers.  We believe our proposals strike the right balance between the need to deliver the improved services customers want, cater for a growing population in our region, safeguard the environment and make sure bills are affordable.

“Our plan is based on the views of more than 27,000 people from across our region and includes 26 promises which we are making to customers about the quality of service they receive. One of these key commitments is that we will make nearly £200 million in efficiency savings between 2015 and 2020 – that amounts to about £20 per year for every household we serve.”

The range of improvements Southern Water’s plan will deliver includes:

  • 90 per cent of customers’ queries resolved the first time they contact Southern Water
  • A 25 per cent reduction in sewer flooding inside people’s homes and businesses
  • No ‘serious pollution incidents’ affecting local rivers and coastal waters caused by Southern Water’s operations
  • A 15 per cent increase in the number of beaches with the official ‘excellent’ rating for bathing water quality
  • A further reduction in leakage of two million litres a day
  • A reduction of 15 litres per person, per day in average water use.

Ofwat is due to publish a final determination on Southern Water’s plan in December 2014.

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