water bills to fall 16% after competition inquiry ruling
water company which serves thousands of customers across the Burnham-On-Sea
area has been told it must cut average water bills by 16% by 2020.
company originally planned to reduce its bills by just 6%, but
last year regulator Ofwat said customers should see a cut of 19%,
arguing that it had seen no justification for the higher charges
and Bristol Water needed to run itself more efficiently.
Water appealed over Ofwat's decision to the Competition and Markets
Authority (CMA), which has this week ruled that average bills
must reduce by 16% by 2020.
means the average customer will be charged £160 a year compared
with £187 had Bristol's case been accepted.
Water said the decision meant it was now unable to build some
of its proposed projects, which includes the Cheddar 2 reservoir.
inquiry group chairwoman Anne Lambert said: "We have considered
the needs of Bristol Water's customers and the levels of investment
required to maintain quality and reliability of supply."
part of this process, we have rejected several projects proposed
by Bristol Water because we did not consider they were fully justified
and in the interests of customers. We have also placed funding
for a large water treatment project on hold."
is subject to approval by Ofwat if further investigation by Bristol
Water justifies the investment. Overall, we considered that a
small increase from the Ofwat determination was justified."
Water Chief Executive Luis Garcia said: "It has been worthwhile
going to the CMA as this is an improved outcome that we are confident
will better serve Bristol Water's customers by allowing us to
maintain our network and invest in essential improvements."
Chief Executive Cathryn Ross added: "While the CMA has slightly
reduced the level of bill reductions we set, this is still an
excellent result for Bristol Water's customers. It is critical
that Bristol Water continues to deliver a safe and secure water
service to its customers."
hope that Bristol Water will now review its approach to our five-yearly
price reviews and take forward these lessons at future reviews."