Families in Huddersfield look set to see their water bills fall.
New regulations announced today will force water companies to lower their charges.
Ofwat, the industry regulator, has fixed new caps on prices for the next five years - and it means a 3% cut for Yorkshire Water customers.
That should mean the average bill reducing from £373 this year to £361 by 2019/20.
Ofwat has today finalised decisions which mean average bills for water and wastewater customers in England and Wales will fall by around 5%, before adjustments for inflation, between 2015 and 2020. This would see average bills fall by around £20 from £396 to £376.
At the same time customers will see improved levels of service. Companies are set to spend more than £44 billion or around £2,000 for every household in England and Wales over the next five years.
By 2020 customers will benefit from substantial improvements in areas of service that really matter to them, including:
More than 370 million litres a day saved by tackling leakage and promoting water efficiency – enough water saved to serve all of the homes in Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds;
A reduction in the time lost to supply interruptions (down on average 32%);
4,700 fewer properties flooded by sewer water
Cleaner water at more than 50 beaches.
Yorkshire Water hops to invest an estimated £3billion in improvements.
The water companies submitted their plans to Ofwat in December 2013, proposing bills drop by almost 2% in real terms.
Yorkshire Water wanted a cut of 1%.
Ofwat has worked with companies since then to deliver a further £3 billion savings for customers. This means average bills will be going down by 5% in real terms, and these savings will also help reduce bills after 2020. As well as challenging on price, Ofwat has also made sure companies are stretching themselves on service. This includes larger reductions in supply interruptions, pollution incidents, and further improvements to drinking water quality.
Jonson Cox, chairman of Ofwat said: “This is an important step in maintaining customers’ trust and confidence in the water sector.
“We set out to deliver a challenging but fair outcome. We are requiring companies to meet higher service standards and deliver on their promises to customers.
“We are bringing down bills so customers can expect value for money, while investors can earn a fair return. Companies will need to stretch themselves to deliver much more with the same level of funding as in previous years. We will achieve more resilient infrastructure and better service as a result.”
Companies have two months in which to accept Ofwat’s final determination, or seek a referral to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).