Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Water firms urged to curb prices

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has urged water companies to "look closely" at whether price increases are necessary and introduce special tariffs for hard-pressed households.

In a letter to suppliers, Mr Paterson said they should recognise the financial strain that people were under.

The intervention came with Ofwat expected later this week to reject an application from Thames Water to increase bills by £29 in 2014-15.

The regulator has questioned the profits being made by firms, and suggested its next Price Review could ease the upward pressure on bills by up to £750 million after 2015.

Mr Paterson said: "We know that household budgets are under pressure, and keeping water bills affordable is a crucial way we can help hardworking people.

"That is why we are pressing hard to make sure customers get a fair deal, by encouraging water companies to look closely at any price increases, introduce social tariffs for vulnerable customers and crack down on bad debt."

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph