12:45 Tuesday 03 December 2013

Severn Trent plan could lead to rising bills

Written byANNA HUDSON

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WATER bills for Severn Trent customers will rise by £50 over the next six years if its latest business plan is approved by the industry regulator.

The firm, which has customers in Burton and South Derbyshire with, submitted its final business plan to Ofwat yesterday.

It covers the period from April 2015 to March 2020.

The average bill for 2013-14 stands at £332.

For 2014-15, it would go up £4 to £336, where it would stay for two years until 2016-17, when it would rise to £347.

In 2017-18, it would go up to £358, then £370 the following year and £382 for 2019-20.

But Severn Trent said that the price changes represented a 1.2 per cent below-inflation increase from 2015 to 2020, suggesting that bills would be £12 lower in real terms by 2020.

The company also said it would be spending more on improving its network, investing £3.2 billion, which is £600 million more than over the past five years.

The plan, which must now be approved by Ofwat, has been put together following a lengthy consultation with thousands of customers and stakeholders.

Severn Trent chief executive Tony Wray said: “The challenge for business plans for the next regulatory period can be summed up as, ‘can you do more, deliver what customers want and the environment needs, and still keep prices down?’

“We believe the answer is yes. We have an established track record of real price reductions over the past five years and for sharing the benefits of our performance with our customers.

“We will maintain this record over the next five years and deliver better value, better services and a healthier environment.” Severn Trent said it believed its plan offered value for money and was fair

The company argues that it already offers the lowest combined average bills in England and Wales.

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