Dorset news

SEMBCORP Bournemouth Water (SBW) is to freeze its prices for household and business customers until April 2015.

The company, which supplies drinking water to approximately half a million people in parts of Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire, will then cut bills for the following 12 months. Increases in subsequent years up to 2020 will be kept below inflation.

SBW today [December 2] submitted its long term plans for the service to the industry’s regulator OFWAT and is proposing to cut bills while continuing to improve the service. The regulator will review the plan and will set limits late next year on what the company may charge customers up to 2020.

Roger Harrington, SBW’s Managing Director, said: “We’ve listened to a lot of customers over the last two years, and taken on board their feedback to help us review and update our plans for the future.

“We have been able to develop a plan that will bring improvements to the service while freezing all bills next year, cutting bills in 2015 and then keeping any bill increases below inflation until at least 2020. By cutting bills and improving the service we will be doing more for less, 11 per cent less.”

SBW has been rated by the regulator as providing the best customer service of all water companies over the last two years but Mr Harrington said: “Being good is not good enough these days. We will continue to improve the experience for our customers in the future.”

The company’s plan includes:

· Improving customer service even further

· Reducing leakage from water pipes by five per cent from an already low position

· Fixing visible leaks faster

· Reducing the risk of interruptions to the service

· Continuing to meter homes which currently pay fixed water charges

· Reducing the amount of energy used to deliver water by eight per cent

The company’s proposals mean the following for the average household bill:

Table showing how SBW customers average bill will be affected

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