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Water bills to rise by less than planned from April 2024 as firms hit with £114 million penalty

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Some water bills in England and Wales could rise by less than planned from April 2024, as 12 water companies have been hit with a collective £114 million penalty for missing targets on pollution, leaks and customer service.

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Water bills to rise by less than planned from April 2024 as firms hit with £114 million penalty – here's what we know

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  • badmemory
    badmemory Posts: 8,055 Forumite
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    Why not just instruct them to do their jobs properly within the next 365 days or you are nationalised with no compensation.  Hopefully that would concentrate their minds. 
    I do not want a refund I want them to do the job we have already paid them for.  For years.
  • MattMattMattUK
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    It works out at between £0.70-4.90 per customer for those eligible customers (amount differs by supplier).

    I agree it would be better for them to have to spend that money on improvements. My local supplier is Thames Water, they have been dumping sewerage and have issues with leaks, however I do have some sympathy with them as well. Over the last 30 years they have made 28 applications to build new reservoirs, they have all been declined, they have made 24 applications to build new sewerage processing facilities and only two have been approved. So whilst customers say that they do not want hosepipe bans or sewerage dumping, they regularly oppose the new construction needed to stop those things happen. If we want things to happen then the reservoir and processing plant building programs need to be forced through by government, rather than letting Nimby's block everything. 
  • GingerTim
    GingerTim Posts: 2,109 Forumite
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    Better not pop those champagne corks just yet 

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-66979271

    Water companies want bills to increase by £156 a year by 2030 to pay for upgrades and reduce sewage discharges.

    The increase would allow infrastructure spending to almost double to £96bn and fund the construction of 10 new reservoirs, the water industry says.

  • MattMattMattUK
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    GingerTim said:
    Better not pop those champagne corks just yet 

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-66979271

    Water companies want bills to increase by £156 a year by 2030 to pay for upgrades and reduce sewage discharges.

    The increase would allow infrastructure spending to almost double to £96bn and fund the construction of 10 new reservoirs, the water industry says.

    It is something that is almost certainly needed, the sector has been woefully under invested in for decades now and as much as some will object to profit, even if profit were reduced to zero there is not enough to cover the investment needed to cope with both population growth and the impacts of climate change. 
  • badmemory
    badmemory Posts: 8,055 Forumite
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    But will they actually use those extra payments to sort the problems or will they just go in CEO pay & dividends.  I would like some proof that they actually intend to do their jobs.  It is interesting that the government seems to be able to force through things when it comes to house building but not when it comes to dealing with the results of those excessive in the wrong place buildings.
  • MattMattMattUK
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    badmemory said:
    But will they actually use those extra payments to sort the problems or will they just go in CEO pay & dividends.
    They are a regulated industry, bills and expenditure are largely fixed by the regulator and they cannot divert money earmarked for investment to pay or dividend (which can only come from post-tax retained profit).
    badmemory said:
    I would like some proof that they actually intend to do their jobs.
    They are listed companies, they publish annual reports. They are regulated companies, they are audited by the regulator. Nearly all of the water suppliers have shortcomings with leaks and sewerage, if they do not do their jobs then they get fined, which comes out of the profit that they would otherwise be able to distribute to shareholders. Board level remuneration is contained within the operating cost of the agreed regulatory framework.
    badmemory said:
    It is interesting that the government seems to be able to force through things when it comes to house building but not when it comes to dealing with the results of those excessive in the wrong place buildings.
    The government can pretty much force through whatever it wants, if it has the political will and the fiscal headroom. What do you think it should "force through" in relation to the water industry? 
  • badmemory
    badmemory Posts: 8,055 Forumite
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    Them actually doing their jobs for the first time in over 20 years would be a good start.  Or as Thames Water were complaining the reservoirs they need to do their jobs etc etc etc.
  • MattMattMattUK
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    badmemory said:
    Them actually doing their jobs for the first time in over 20 years would be a good start. 
    Their job is to supply potable water and process sewerage, whilst there have been issues with sewerage dumping the vast majority gets processed and they have supplied potable water. Whilst they might not have done their jobs perfectly, they have done the vast majority of them.
    badmemory said:
    Or as Thames Water were complaining the reservoirs they need to do their jobs etc etc etc.
    Thames Water have been trying to build new reservoirs for thirty years to ensure supply, to reduce the need for hosepipe bans in dry summers (because they can store more winter rainfall) as well as building new sewerage processing plants so that they do not have overflows and need to dump unprocessed sewerage into rivers, planning permission has been denied to all due to NIMBYs, hence the current situation. 
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