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Ofwat Sets Out GBP12 Billion Investment Target For Water Companies.

(Alliance News) - UK water regulator Ofwat is targeting a GBP50 drop in annual water bills, it said Thursday, as well as a further GBP12 billion of investment into the water network.

Unveiling its 2019 price review, which includes a "major" package of investment, Ofwat sees water companies investing GBP6 million a day over the next five years, which will help cut bills for customers by around GBP50 a year.

Ofwat has reviewed 14 of the 17 UK water companies' future plans, and three of these, Severn Trent PLC, United Utilities Group PLC, and South West Water, were fast-tracked due to their "high-quality" plans.

South West Water is owned by FTSE 250 member Pennon Group PLC. In its own statement, Severn Trent said it is "pleased" by Ofwat's recognition of its plans, especially for its Welsh business Hafren Dyfrdwy.

Ofwat Chief Executive Rachel Fletcher said: "The package we are unveiling today signals a brighter future for customers, with better services, a healthier natural environment and lower bills.

"To get there we are calling for extra investment of GBP6 million each and every day to improve the environment and provide services for a growing population. At the same time we expect to see customers' bills cut by an average of GBP50.

"These are seriously stretching goals for the sector, but we know they can be achieved. We have seen three water companies leading the way and we now want the rest to show the ambition and drive to deliver this new era for customers and the environment," Fletcher continued.

Ofwat wants to cut polluting incidents by a third, reduce interruptions to supply by almost two-thirds, and reduce leakages to save enough water equivalent to the needs of Manchester, Leeds, Leicester and Cardiff.

Severn Trent was 1.6% higher in London early Thursday at 2,037.00 pence a share, United Utilities up 1.1% at 773.20p, and Pennon up 1.4% at 746.60p.

By George Collard; georgecollard@alliancenews.com

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Publication:Alliance Newswire
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 18, 2019
Words:337
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