Anglian Water customers are set to see the benefit of an investment programme of £1.8 billion over the next five years and experience some of the lowest bill increases in the country if its proposal to the industry regulator, Ofwat, is approved.
Anglian Water believes it needs to strike the balance between maintaining its infrastructure, coping with the region’s growing population and improving the environment, while minimising increases in customers’ bills.
For an average bill increase of 3.3 per cent each year - £47 over five years - Anglian Water proposes to further improve river water quality across the region, including the Broads and the Wash, to connect up to 86 villages to mains sewerage for the first time and alleviate odours at specific sites across the region.
The company’s proposal is the latest stage in a price review process that happens every five years. As part of the process all interested parties, including customers, customers’ representatives, politicians, regulators and environmental organisations are invited to comment. Anglian Water then has the difficult task of prioritising these needs.
Roy Pointer, chief executive of Anglian Water comments: “Our customers already benefit from excellent drinking water quality, one of the world’s lowest leakage rates and the best river water quality since the industrial revolution. We also have the highest proportion of prestigious blue flags in the country, denoting excellent bathing water quality around our important tourist coastline.
“We want to ensure that we maintain and improve on these high standards. We believe we have found the balance that will help us to provide those high services that customers rightly expect into the future while keeping bills as low as possible. We want to ensure that customers continue to get good value for money.”
This proposal will now be considered by Ofwat and there will be further consultation with interested parties. Ofwat will present a draft price determination in August 2004 and a final determination in December 2004. New price limits will then come into effect in April 2005.