SOUTH Yorkshire folk have hit out at the increasing cost of living after Yorkshire Water announced it would be putting up bills by over six per cent in 2012-13.
The increase is above inflation and above the national average for water rate rises.
Yorkshire Water customers can expect their bills to go up by 6.1 per cent, while those who get their supplies from Severn Trent will see a five per cent increase.
Average bills for Yorkshire Water will be £361 for the year, up by £21, while the Severn Trent average will be £325, up £16.
Both charges remain below the national average bill of £376 - although the national average increase is 5.7 per cent.
Laura Perkin, aged 24, from Kelham Island said: “I’m not happy - it’s not like you can live without water and it’s not possible to switch to another provider.”
The announcement was made by water companies’ watchdog Ofwat, which said it had challenged the increases the firms wanted to introduce.
It says the final rises by 2015 will be ten per cent below what the companies originally asked for - and will by then be broadly in line with inflation.
Yorkshire Water said the increase would fund a £376 million programme of investments over the next year - a third of a £3.5 billion programme which runs until 2015.
Local projects include £12 million to improve the Rivelin Water Treatment Works, £13 million to upgrade the city’s water mains and £70 million of work at Blackburn Meadows.
Richard Flint, Yorkshire Water’s chief executive, said: “In this challenging economic climate where a lot of people are feeling the pinch, I think it’s more important than ever that essential service providers explain exactly why price increases are necessary and just what they will finance.
“Whilst the majority of this rise is down to inflation, the remainder of the increase will be used to fund our ongoing investment in Yorkshire.”
Simon Mullan, customer relations director for Severn Trent Water, said: “We have worked hard to keep prices down for our customers and are proud that our water and sewerage bills are the lowest in England and Wales.
“This year we will invest around £266 million across the region to upgrade our infrastructure and deliver the service improvements our customers have told us are important to them.”
The bill changes for this year will come into effect from April and apply until the end of March next year.