Scottish Water’s charges will rise this April for the first time in four years - but below the rate of inflation.
The combined water supply and waste water collection charges for the 2.4 million households across Scotland will increase by a below inflation 2.8 per cent, the first increase since 2009. The level of increase in charges is based on the RPI (Retail Price Index) in October of 3.2 per cent and is agreed with our economic regulator the Water Industry Commission for Scotland.
Annual council tax bills being delivered through letter boxes will include combined water supply and waste water collection charges that come into effect from April 1, 2013. The average Scottish Water charge for households across Scotland in 2013/14 will be around £334. Crucially water charges in Scotland are expected to continue to be around £50 below the average household charge for customers of the private water companies in England and Wales.
With charges in England and Wales expected to rise by more than inflation the average household charge in Scotland will continue to be less than the average household bill in England and Wales and lower than the average in most of the companies south of the border. It is also considerably lower than other utility charges.
Household charges had remained unchanged since April 2009. This increase of 2.8 per cent, our first increase in four years, is 10 per cent less than the rise in inflation over the same four year period.
This below inflation rise signals continued stability in water and waste water bills for Scotland, at the same time as Scottish Water is delivering one of the largest investment programmes per household in the UK.
Douglas Millican, interim chief executive, said: “We are working hard to ensure that in the next few years, charges remain stable while we continue to deliver vital investment. That’s why I’d encourage all our customers to have their say on our consultation on the future of water services, which runs until February.
“Our customers are benefiting from Scottish Water’s continuing strong financial performance and its focus on delivering further efficiencies. That is why we have been able to restrict this price rise to only 2.8 per cent - delivering benefits to our customers.
“Our customers are continuing to see value in the charges they pay and improved service. The quality of our drinking water is the best it has ever been, we are continuing to improve the natural environment across Scotland, cutting water leaking from our pipes and customer service is continuing to improve.
“We believe these charges are a fair deal for our customers in these challenging economic conditions.
“These charges are helping to pay for the current £2.5 billion investment programme which is delivering the investment that Scotland needs in its water infrastructure while providing thousands of construction jobs. Millions of people are turning on their taps to clearer, fresher drinking water, enjoying a cleaner environment and receiving improved customer service as a result.”
Customers are being invited to have their say on the future of water and waste water services in Scotland through an ongoing consultation which can be found at http://www.scottishwater.co.uk/your-views-count