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3 February 2015, 07:22 | Updated: 3 February 2015, 07:26
Anglian Water cuts bills by seven per cent
Anglian Water customers will see their annual bill drop by £29 on average after the water company announced prices for the coming year will come down by 7 per cent.
It is the biggest percentage saving for customers, outstripping all other water and sewerage companies in the UK.
The average annual bill will reduce to £402 per year, or £1.10 per day. Customers with a water meter will pay even less, with the average bill dropping to £371.
The price cut is part of Anglian Water's promise to keep bills as low as possible, while at the same time delivering a multi-billion pound, five year investment programme to maintain and improve essential water and sewerage services for its customers.
This is all part of Anglian Water's five year Business Plan to 2020 which is supported by more than 90 per cent of customers following the company's biggest ever public consultation. The Plan focuses on investing in the areas that matter most to them, including a £60million war on leakage; protecting customers and the environment from severe weather such as drought and flooding; and tackling the impacts of climate change. It also pledged to increase to £1million a year the amount of money available to help vulnerable customers facing financial hardship.
Martyn Oakley, Anglian Water's Director of Customer Service, said: "We know household budgets remain under pressure. So we believe this price cut is timely and coming at a time when customers tell us they need it most."
The company will continue to develop even more innovative and efficient ways of working which in the last five years has achieved significant efficiencies, savings from which are being returned to customers in lower bills.
The planned £5billion investment will underpin an extensive programme of work between now and 2020. Projects include water main repairs, sewer maintenance, environmental protection and new water recycling equipment.
- £19million in the first year of the Plan to keep leakage levels the lowest in the UK. This is part of a five year, £60million war on leakage
- £22million to improve the resilience of our network from Grafham Water Treatment Works, which supplies water for over 1.5 million people
- £3.5million for flood projects that will help to overcome the challenges of complex, multi-owned, and interconnected drainage networks.
- £10million to connect hundreds more homes to the mains sewerage network for the first time in the next year, with more than £70million investment over the five years
- Over £10million to improve and protect our coastline and the region's coastal waters
- £60million to protect the natural environment and improve the raw water quality of the rivers and watercourses we rely on to provide our drinking water
Martyn Oakley continued: "As well as cutting bills we're also continuing to help customers control how much they spend on bills. For instance, we've pledged by 2020 to fit 95 per cent of homes with a water meter. And this doesn't mean making metered bills compulsory because we believe the savings to be achieved speak for themselves.
"The average bill for metered customers next year will fall to £371. This compares to the average unmetered bill of £516.
"Almost 80 per cent of homes in our region now have a meter, but there are almost 150,000 customers who have meters but are not using them. We urge them to switch and save.
"It's free to switch, and join the majority of our customers who on average have saved £100 a year. You can even switch back, for free, within two years if you aren't satisfied.
"We're also continuing to help our customers save water by offering free water saving devices for everyone. Customers in a number of areas can also ask for a free home visit from a registered plumber who will fit the devices and offer other water saving tips."
Extra help for vulnerable customers is also a priority. From April, a new Anglian Water tariff will be available to help those facing financial hardship and who struggle to pay their bills. The Anglian Water Assistance Fund will be boosted to £1million a year to help those customers who need it the most.