Press Releases 2008

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Water bills in Scotland set to rise by less than rate of inflation to 2010 and remain stable until 2014

11 August 2008

As water companies in England and Wales inform Ofwat of planned rises in bills either at or above the rate of inflation, Scotland is bucking the trend. 

Household bills are already an average of £15 lower than in England and Wales and it is predicted that household bills will be £20 lower for next year.  Prices are likely to be lower beyond 2010.

Furthermore, Scottish Water’s service to its customers has improved significantly over the year and customers can expect to continue benefitting from improved levels of service as well as better prices at a time when other utility prices across the UK are rising.

The Chairman of WICS Sir Ian Byatt attributes the stable prices for household customers to significant improvements from Scottish Water: “Scottish Water has reduced its operating costs for five years in a row.  At the same time it has improved its services to customers.  These lower costs are bringing substantial savings for customers.”

Ends

For more press information:
- Arthur Browne or Julie Fourcade, 3 Monkeys Communications, 020 7440 2410 / 07906 488 614 / 07958 736 056 ([email protected] / [email protected])
- Katherine Russell, WICS’ Director of Corporate Affairs, 01786 430 200

Notes to editors:

1. The Commission’s statutory duty is to determine price limits for Scottish Water based on the lowest reasonable cost of achieving ministerial objectives for the water industry. In November 2005, the Commission determined price limits for water and sewerage services for the regulatory control period 2006-10. A document setting out WICS’ full determination is available at www.watercommission.co.uk.

2. During the 2006-10 regulatory control period, Scottish Water is tasked with delivering a £2.15bn investment programme. This investment is designed to deliver environmental, drinking water quality and customer service improvements specified by Scottish Ministers. Once investment projects are completed, they should be signed off by the appropriate quality regulator (either the Drinking Water Quality Regulator (DWQR) or Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)) as fit for purpose.

3. Scottish Water’s level of service is measured using an overall performance index. This is a weighted index that covers four areas: water supply, sewerage service, environmental impact and customer service. In 2005-06, Scottish Water’s score on this index was 165 points. In early June, the Commission agreed that Scottish Water score for 2007-08 was 248 points – an improvement of 7% over the year and 50% over the two years. The equivalent score in 2006-07 was 232 points.

4. From 1 April 2008, all business customers and public bodies, such as, local authorities, hospitals, schools

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