U.K. Water Bills May Decline Next Year on Regulator Price Review

Aug 29, 2014 5:34 am ET

Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. water and wastewater bills may decline after the industry regulator published proposals on the prices utilities can charge customers starting next year.

Ofwat published draft prices that water and sewage companies, including United Utilities Group Plc and Severn Trent Plc, can charge their customers for the five-year period starting 2015. The proposals may see average bills drop by about 5 percent even after deducting inflation, it said in a statement.

The water regulator sets limits on how much utilities can charge their customers every five years. The prices are now subject to consultation with final decisions to be published on Dec. 12.

The proposals will support a “substantial” program of investment of more than 43 billion pounds ($71 billion). That will help to cut the time lost to supply interruptions, provide cleaner water at more than 50 beaches and save more 340 million liters (89.8 million gallons) a day by addressing leakage and boosting water efficiency, Ofwat said in the statement.