Customer feedback prompts cut in price rise by water firm

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Yorkshire Water bills are set to rise in line with inflation next year – a lower increase than originally planned.

South Yorkshire homes supplied by the company will then face similar price hikes each year until 2020.

The increases will be lower than those originally agreed with industry regulator Ofwat in 2009, with the company saying it is aware of current financial pressures.

Its original agreement was to raise prices by inflation plus 1.6 per cent – the sum which is to be scrapped.

It means next year’s average bill will be £373, £6 lower than first planned.

Richard Flint, Yorkshire Water chief executive, said: “Over the last 18 months we have listened to the views of more than 30,000 customers to help shape where we invest over the next five years, and how that will impact on bills.

“Our bills are already lower than the national average, but we are committed to doing even more to help our customers. The overwhelming message is they don’t want to see any deterioration in service, but want us to keep bills as low as possible.

“We understand the pressures on households and that’s why we’re planning to keep bills in line with inflation for the next six years.

“This is a challenging plan we are confident we’ll deliver through prudent financial management, sharing company efficiencies with customers and by reducing our returns to investors.”

Andrea Cook, independent customer champion, said: “This decision by Yorkshire Water to limit price increases for next year, at a time when consumers face economic pressures from all directions, is welcomed.

“Customers on low and fixed incomes struggle to keep up even with small bill increases and this will be of particular benefit to them.”