Daily Mail

£70m water bills discount as firms miss their targets

- By Jane Denton

WATER companies will be forced to pay out a net total of £70 million to customers for failing to meet key performanc­e targets.

The industry regulator Ofwat is demanding customers of Thames Water, Anglian Water and Dwr Cymru Welsh Water have money taken off their bills — although the saving per household is not yet known.

The payout demands, announced yesterday, are for water suppliers failing to meet targets on reducing pollution, leakages and supply interrupti­ons.

Thames Water has been ordered to use money from a £74 million penalty to compensate the majority of its 15 million customers.

Anglian Water has more than six million customers who could benefit from a total of up to £27 million being taken off their bills — while three million Dwr Cymru customers will share in a total of £24 million being docked from their accounts. Ofwat said that the fines must be passed on to customers through lower bills both next year and in 2025.

But some water companies may be able to charge customers more after improving their performanc­e, says Ofwat. Severn Trent Water could add £89 million to the bills of almost five million customers while United Utilities might add £25 million to seven million customers’ bills.

Ofwat said 12 firms will have to return around £193 million to their customers, while five firms will be able to charge £123 million more, resulting in a net total of £70 million being paid out.

In September, Ofwat said water companies would return a net total of £114 million, but that amount was provisiona­l until the review process was completed.

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