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Affinity Water - Annual Charges from 1st April 2024

30 January 2024

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The following is a letter from Affinity Water...

I am writing to inform you of changes to our annual charges that are due to take effect on 1 April 2024.

 

It is necessary to increase the amount we charge so that we can increase investment and make sure we continue to provide high-quality drinking water that is both reliable and sustainable – things that our customers have told us matter most. We have not taken this decision lightly and understand that many customers will be worried about the rising cost of living.

 

For a customer on a water meter, based on an average bill size, they can expect to pay around £2.82 more each month on a combined bill (water and wastewater) - assuming the amount of water used stays the same.  

For a customer without a meter, based on an average bill they can expect to pay around £3.38 more each month on a combined bill.  

 

That's just over 1p for every 10 litres of high-quality drinking water. 

In 2024/25, we are set to invest £165 million to keep taps flowing with high- quality drinking water you can rely on and deliver on our commitments. This includes continuing to drive down leakage to record lows, replacing our pipes and pumps to make water more reliable, using innovative technology to help us detect problems faster and delivering more sustainable ways to move water from source to tap.

 

Our prices are overseen by our regulator OFWAT, who make sure that our plans and our investments are fair and beneficial for our customers. 

We have set charges in a way that mitigates bill increases for customers at most risk and with mitigations for high inflation including:

 

  • Expansion of our enhanced social tariff.
  • Doubling our cost of living assistance scheme to assist 60,000 customers with £50 credit in 2024/25 (from 30,000 customer in 23/24).
  • Protecting unmeasured Rateable Value customers by smoothing tariff differential adjustments over several years

 

Customers will receive a letter with their bill to explain why tariffs need to increase and how we can help customers who need additional support. This will also be replicated with messaging in customers’ online accounts, targeted emails, social media and a text message campaign.

 

For customers that we know to be under financial strain or at risk of becoming so, we will provide information on financial help and support available.  We continue to work extensively with external support organisations who help us extend our engagement to customers and groups that we find harder to reach through other channels.

 

As well as providing extra support for up to 60,000 customers who are most in need with a £50 cost of living payment (We will be contact eligible customers directly and credit their accounts.), we have several schemes to provide extra support to customers struggling with their bills:

 

Payment plan

Customers can request a payment plan or direct debit to help spread the cost of their bill.

 

WaterSure scheme

If customers have a water meter and consume a lot of water because they have a large family or a medical condition, they may be eligible for our WaterSure scheme.

 

Low income fixed social tariff

Customers who are claiming benefits or have a household income of less than £17,005 excluding benefits (this is higher if you live in London), may benefit from our low income fixed social tariff.

 

Water direct scheme

If customers are in arrears and can’t pay their current bill and are receiving benefits our water direct scheme could help.

Separately, we have written to our financial partners informing them of the increase in our annual charges and highlighting the support available to customers.

 

I have written to District and County council leaders in your area along with MP’s that represent your constituencies.  If customers within your parish are concerned about their bill, our customer services team (0345 357 2401) can offer tailored advice for their circumstances and assist with any application for support.  Information is also available on our website Do you need help paying your water bill? (affinitywater.co.uk)

 

Yours Faithfully

 

Liv Walton

 

Director of Regulation & Strategy