YORKSHIRE Water plans to invest more than £1.9bn in its network over the next five years.
The Bradford-based company said it would spend the money to further improve drinking water, clean up rivers and bathing waters and reduce the number of homes and businesses affected by sewer flooding.
Yorkshire Water said the measures would paid for by adding £4 a year to the average bill – taking it from £308 in 2010 to £328 in 2015.
The company’s business plan has been submitted for approval by industry regulator Ofwat.
Water companies across the UK have been asked by the watchdog to submit their five-year business plans to show how they will deal with issues such as climate change, sustainability and meeting consumer expectations.
Ofwat will post details of all the firms’ the proposals on its website in due course.
A spokesman for Yorkshire Water said: “Our investment up to 2015 will lead to better quality drinking water, cleaner rivers and bathing waters and a further reduction in the number of homes and businesses affected by sewer flooding.
“It will also provide a welcome boost to the region’s economy, with more than 1,000 Yorkshire-based businesses and suppliers helping us to deliver this enormous programme of work.”
He said: “Research carried out recently by the University of Leeds shows that the knock-on effect of the £650m a year we spend with our suppliers and staff generates more than £1bn a year of economic activity – spending by local people and businesses – in Yorkshire and Humber.”
The spokesman said the company would be able to keep the rise in average bills to £4 a year during the five-year period – despite huge increases in energy costs and the need to meet ever-tighter European environmental standards – by improving efficiency.
He said: “By continuing to drive further efficiencies, we aim to ensure that, in years to come, our customers will continue to pay among the lowest prices in the UK for their water and sewerage services.”
Ofwat asked water companies in 2007 to produce 25-year plans for maintaining and developing services. It said the companies had been asked to take that longer term view” into account in drawing up the new five-year business plans.
Ofwat chief executive officer Regina Finn said: “Consumers are at the heart of our decision making.
“We will now scrutinise final plans and challenge them as necessary. We will do everything possible to secure sustainable, value-for-money services for consumers.”