Posted: Wednesday 4th February 2015

Scottish Water charges will continue to be among the lowest in Great Britain in the next six years.

Since 2009, Scottish Water’s charges have reduced by 10% relative to the rate of inflation. By the end of its new six-year regulatory period, which commences in April, Scottish Water charges will have fallen further in real terms – below the level of CPI inflation.

An increase in household charges from April 1(for the year 2015/16) will be limited to 1.6% – around £6 a year for the average household. It means the average Scottish Water household charge in 2015/16 will be £346.

As a result the average household charge in Scotland is expected to be £40 lower than the average household bill in England and Wales.

The new charges are within price limits set by the Water Industry Commission for Scotland based on a new six-year agreement between Scottish Water and the Customer Forum, which represented the interests of customers.

The agreement, which commences in April, provides stability in charges for customers.

Customer charges will help pay for a £3.5 billion investment by Scottish Water in the next six years which will further improve drinking water quality, protect the environment and support the economy and jobs in the construction sector. This six-year programme includes investment of:

· Around £300 million to enhance and protect drinking water quality, including improvements planned in Aberdeenshire, Fair Isle and South Uist, as well as the refurbishment of hundreds of miles of water mains and modernisation of dozens of water treatment works

· Over £100 million on a new Glasgow waste water tunnel to improve water quality in the River Clyde and reduce flooding

· Around £45 million to deliver solutions to external sewer flooding problems and around £100 million for solutions to internal flooding issues

· Around £55 million to improve the resilience of water supplies across Scotland’s communities to deliver continuous supplies of high-quality water to customers. This is the start of an on-going programme for the next 20 years.

Douglas Millican, Chief Executive, said: “Scottish Water continues to provide one of the UK’s best value water and waste water services.

“We have listened to the views of our customers in setting our plans for the next six years. Our customers expect us to build on the significant improvements we have made to water services for the benefit of all our customers in Scotland as we embark on our new, six-year regulatory period.

“Our customers have told us that they value certainty in their charges over the medium term. Today’s announcement signals stability in water charges for the coming years and provides certainty for customers. It follows a major customer consultation exercise and extensive discussion with customers and stakeholders, including the Customer Forum for water, to agree a 2015-21 business plan which is focused on meeting customer priorities.

“Charges allow us to maintain investment – ensuring we continue to provide fresh, clearer drinking water for our customers, while protecting and enhancing the environment and supporting the Scottish economy.

“It means that, by 2021, household bills will have fallen further in real terms – which is good news for customers the length and breadth of Scotland.”

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