Water companies to invest £12 billion in five years under regulator plans

Water companies in England and Wales face pressure to increase investment under the regulator Ofwat’s latest price review.

Ofwat unveiled proposals on Thursday that involve water companies investing an additional £6 million each day, every day, for the next five years.

Equating to £12 billion collectively, the additional investment will be used to improve services for future generations, including by building reservoirs, moving water to where its needed most and protecting the environment.

The price review also includes ambitious new targets to drive water companies to cut pollution incidents by more than a third, reduce supply interruptions by almost two-thirds, help 1.5 million customers who are struggling to pay their bills and cut leakage to save enough water equivalent to the needs of the population of Manchester, Leeds, Leicester and Cardiff.

At the same time, Ofwat expects customers to see their water bills cut by £50, the regulator said in its price review.

“The package we are unveiling today signals a brighter future for customers, with better services, a healthier natural environment and lower bills,” Ofwat Chief Executive, Rachel Fletcher, commented.

“To get there we are calling for extra investment of £6 million each and every day to improve the environment and provide services for a growing population. At the same time we expect to see customers’ bills cut by an average of £50,” the Chief Executive continued.

“These are seriously stretching goals for the sector, but we know they can be achieved. We have seen three water companies leading the way and we now want the rest to show the ambition and drive to deliver this new era for customers and the environment.”

Earlier this year, Severn Trent (LON:SVT) warned on the future of the water sector in its annual results.

Profits at Thames Water dropped at the end of last year following regulatory penalties and extreme weather.

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