Water companies want bills to increase by more than £150 by 2030 to fix sewage crisis

Water bills statement read by bill payer

Water bills are set to rise by more than £150 a year by 2030

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 02/10/2023

- 12:43

Updated: 02/10/2023

- 13:51

Households face even more pressure on their monthly budgets as water companies plot to hike bills

Water companies will ask for customer bills to rise by around £156 a year by 2030, before inflation is added, to help pay for fixing the sewage crisis.

Providers have set out a five-year plan to prevent 140,000 sewage overflow spills each year, almost doubling current levels of investment to £96billion in the second part of the decade.

Consumers will be asked to pay higher bills to fund the upgrades, with the average bill in England expected to be £7 a month higher by 2025 compared to 2023’s prices, under the proposals.

This would escalate to £13 a month extra by 2030, which is equivalent to £156 more each year.

Water coming out of tap

The average annual household bill in England and Wales increased by about £31 to £448 in April


It would be the highest increase ever, leading to an average bill rise of 35 per cent by 2030, according to The Telegraph.

The average annual household bill in England and Wales increased by about £31 to £448. The 7.5 per cent average rise was the largest hike in nearly 20 years, since 2005/06.

The industry body Water UK said private firms had agreed to more than double the number of households getting financial support, an increase of two million to 3.2 million.

David Henderson, chief executive of Water UK, said he recognised increased bills were “never welcome” however he urged regulator Ofwat to sign off on the proposals to enable the sector to counter sewage spills “as fast as possible”.

Ofwat has vowed to “forensically scrutinise” the plans, to ensure the increase in bills over the five-year period is “justified”.

Ofwat chief executive David Black said: “Company business plans are an important first step in the price review process.

“Ofwat’s role is to forensically scrutinise their proposals, to ensure any increase in bills is justified, efficient and delivers significant improvements in river and bathing water quality.

“We will assess how companies are helping customers to afford any bill increase.”

More financial support for low-income customers is needed alongside large scale investment from water companies, according to the Consumer Council for Water (CCW), a non-departmental public body representing water and sewage consumers in England and Wales.

Tap running in pictures

Ofwat has vowed to “forensically scrutinise” the plans


Mike Keil, chief executive of the CCW, said: “Customers want to see investment in improving their services and enhancing the environment but any proposed substantial bill rises will add to the worries of many struggling households.

“Investment on this scale must come hand-in-hand with fairer and more consistent support for the nearly one in four households who say they are already struggling to pay their water bill.

“We also want to see evidence in these plans that more water companies are putting their hand in their own pocket to fund a step change in financial support for struggling customers."

Environment Secretary Therese Coffey has said “major improvements” were required, but said she has been “very clear” with Ofwat that “customers should not pay the price for poor performance”.

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