Shropshire Star

Water bills set to go up across the West Midlands and Shropshire

Severn Trent is being rewarded for its good performance – by being allowed to charge customers more.

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Water runs from tap

Water bills are likely to go up across the West Midlands, while customers elsewhere will see their charges go down.

Severn Trent Water has been told it can add £89 million to the bills of the 4.6 million customers it serves from next year.

United Utilities, which serves the North West, has also been told it can charge more than £25 million.

Both companies have been identified by Ofwat as improving their performance.

Meanwhile, other water companies across the UK will be forced to pay out a net total of £70 million to customers after falling short of performance targets set by the industry regulator.

The fines for underperforming suppliers will be passed onto customers through lower bills over 2024 and 2025.

Most companies failed to meet key targets on reducing pollution, leakages and supply interruptions, Ofwat found.

Ofwat judges the performance of water companies in England and Wales each year against the “stretching” targets they set in 2019 for a five-year period until 2025.

Thames Water will be ordered to pay out the most to its 15 million customer base, of nearly £74 million. The struggling firm faced crisis talks earlier this year over its massive £14 billion debt pile, but it managed to secure an emergency funding package from shareholders.

The watchdog last month said Britain’s biggest water supplier has “significant issues to address” over its financial strength. Anglian Water customers will see more than £27 million taken off their bills and Dwr Cymru about £24 million.

In total, Ofwat said 12 firms will have to return around £193 million to customers, partially offset by five firms charging about £123 million more, resulting in a net total of £70 million being paid out.

The regulator had said in September that firms would return a net total of £114 million, but that amount was provisional until the review process was completed.