Millions 'paying too much for water'


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Millions of households in England and Wales are ying too much for their ring false supply because of poor oversight by Ofwat, says a committee of MPs.

A publish from the Public Accounts Committee ( C) said the regulator consistently overestimated be inconsistent com nies’ costs.

It said many householders would be “ap lled” to learn their effervescent water bills could have been smaller.

Ofwat said it at ones desire “carefully consider” the C’s report.

Household water bills averaged reasonable under £400 per year last year.


The committee of MPs about Ofwat regularly overestimated com nies’ financing and tax costs when site price caps.

The C said this meant the com nies had made stroke of good fortune gains of at least £1.2bn between them.

It is asking Ofwat to notice the way it assesses com nies’ cost of debt and tax and report back on how it intends to renovate.

The MPs also said they were worried about customers in zones where water was scarce ying to develop new ca city, despite the ca city that water trading between com nies would be brought in in the prospective.


Ofwat came into being to oversee the 18 privately owned proprietorships that supply se rate areas with water and sewerage advantages after the service was privatised in 1989.

They currently operate as local monopolies but the superintendence has announced plans to free the market for limited competition between suppliers by the end of this rliament in 2020.

The high-quality will involve services such as billing and customer services, but not the heavy water supply itself.

In Scotland, business customers can already choose such suppliers.


C chairwoman Meg Hillier said: “Ofwat was set up to protect the interests of customers, sundry of whom have no choice over who supplies their water yet be compelled y bills typically running to hundreds of pounds.

“Many householders command therefore be ap lled to learn these bills could have been smaller had Ofwat on a different approach to setting price limits for water com nies.

“This come near must be reviewed as a priority.”

Ofwat chief executive Cathryn Ross prognosticated: “Holding com nies to account and protecting customers is at the heart of what we do.

“That’s why we’ve make restitution for sure bills will fall by 5% by 2020. We will carefully look upon the thoughts of the C.”

She added: “If com nies don’t step up – we’ll step in.”

Consumer Council for Freely chief executive Tony Smith said the C findings “echo the appertain ti we have repeatedly raised with Ofwat that it has been too high-minded to water com nies in st price settlements, to the detriment of water people.”

The consumer group added that Ofwat “needs to… emanci te a fair balance between com ny shareholders and customers”.

Are your bath-water bills over £400, if so why do you think that is? Do you feel Ofwat has overestimated be unbelievable com nies’ costs? Let us know about your experiences. Email