Householders in England and Wales have been advised to brace themselves for possible increases in the cost of water this autumn, as providers take responsibility for maintaining private sewers.
While residents had previously been expected to tend to their own sewers in the past, water companies will assume these duties from October 1. Utilities firms are expected to apply to watchdog Ofwat for permission to adjust their prices accordingly.
“We will not allow any increases until companies are able to provide us with robust evidence on the cost impacts,” Ofwat spokesman Harbinder Babra told Myfinances.co.uk. “We will then challenge and scrutinise a company’s proposal to ensure customers get a fair deal and bill increases are kept as low as possible.”
Mr Babra acknowledged that the transfer of extra responsibilities to water companies will most likely translate into higher bills for customers, but insisted Ofgem remains committed to ensuring bills are kept to an affordable level.
Earlier this week, consumer charity Which? called on the government to launch a Competition Commission investigation into anti-competitive practices in the energy sector.