WATER bills in Yorkshire will go up by at least £11 next year.
And customers will face further increases over the next four years it was confirmed today.
Ofwat has published final price limits for Yorkshire Water for the next five years to 2010. Customers will be faced with an 18% (excluding inflation) increase in water and sewerage charges over the five years with the average bill rising from £243 in 2004-2005 to £288 by in 2009-2010.
Following Ofwat's announcement, customers of Yorkshire Water will see average bills rise from next April by £11, from £243 to £254. But the company had wanted more.
Ofwat has allowed prices to go up by 4.2% a year on average, before inflation, between 2005 and 2010.
Bills will increase by up to 8.5% in the first year, starting on April 1 next year, to reflect a build-up of costs for companies.
The outcome is roughly a third less than what the suppliers had sought.
They had asked for an annual rise of 6.2%, starting with a 12% hike in the first year.
Ofwat said customers needed to pay more to help fund £16.8bn worth of maintenance and improvement work.
WaterVoice Yorkshire chairman Mohammed Ajeeb said: "We are unhappy that customers face significantly higher water and sewerage bills next year.
"Any increase above inflation will cause serious difficulties to many customers in Yorkshire."
Mr Ajeeb added: "Affordability is our key concern and we urge the Government to introduce measures to address the impact of water bill rises for customers on low and fixed incomes.
"It is important that specific financial help is provided where it is most needed.
"This should include using the existing tax credits and benefits system to provide assistance with water bills."