British water bills should drop 5% over the next five years, regulator Ofwat promised today.
It asked companies to hand in their spending plans for 2015 to 2020 and claims average bills will fall by around £20, from £396 to £376 a year.
Cathryn Ross, Chief Executive of Ofwat said: “Where companies stepped up to do the best they could for their customers we did not need to intervene. But where companies fell short we stepped in to make sure customers get a good deal. Now the hard work begins.”
By 2020, the regulator reckoned customers will benefit from “substantial improvements” in service.
It pointed to water savings of more than 370 million litres a day by tackling leakage and promoting water efficiency – enough to serve all of the homes in Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.
It also said the amount of time lost to supply interruptions was down by a third (32%) and 4,700 fewer properties flooded by sewer water.
New charges will come into effect in April 2015.