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£50 reduction on household water bills confirmed

image depicting £50 reduction
£50 reduction
South West Water is pleased to confirm the Government's £50 reduction on household bills will be applied automatically from April 2013.

The reduction is aimed at addressing the unfairness of the three per cent of the England and Wales population living in the South West supporting the £2 billion Clean Sweep clean-up of a third of the country's bathing waters.

In 2011, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Chancellor and Water Minster Richard Benyon all pledged action and special enabling legislation was passed through Parliament early in 2012 to give the region up to £40 million annually to reduce household bills by £50 a year.

Customer Relations Director Monica Read said: "This is a great achievement and thanks to everyone including MPs of all parties, Defra, the Consumer Council for Water, pensioner groups and the regional media who together with thousands of individual customers have helped make the case for the region alongside us over many years for this reduction.

"Household customers will have the reduction automatically and clearly applied to their bills from next April. They need take no action, just look out for the line 'Government Contribution' on your bill during 2013/14."  

Here are the top five things our customers need to know about the reduction:

1. The reduction is for billed household customers whose homes are within our service area and for qualifying 'resellers' (Please see notes to editors)

2. It's a flat rate reduction of £50 per year - it's not linked to how much water you use

3. The reduction starts from April 2013 and will run every year to at least 2020

4. It will be automatically deducted from bills - look out for the line 'Government Contribution' on our bills from 2013/14

5. None of the government funding will be retained by South West Water and the company will not profit in any way

For complete information about the reduction please go to www.southwestwater.co.uk/50reduction

Published: 27 November 2012

Notes to editors

1) The £50 reduction was first announced in Autumn 2011. It grew out of the findings of the Walker Review into affordability and charges in the water industry in 2009. This highlighted the historically high level of charges in South West Water's service area and in particular recognised the 'unfairness' of three per cent of the population of England and Wales paying for the clean-up of a third of the country's bathing waters.

In 2011, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Chancellor all pledged action to tackle that unfairness and special legislation passed through Parliament in Spring 2012 giving South West Water up to £40 million annually to reduce household bills by £50 from 2013. An implementation agreement was signed between the company and the Department For Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in November 2012

2) In rare circumstances, a bill may be less than £50 per year. If this applies, the customer will receive a reduction up to the amount they pay

3) 'Resellers' are landlords, property managers or individuals who have other people - eg neighbours and tenants - paying them for water and/or sewerage services from South West Water. Three groups of resellers are eligible for the reduction and are expected to pass it on to those paying through them for services:

· Neighbours with individual properties liable for Council Tax who share a single supply with one acting as South West Water's customer

· Landlords who have tenants in properties individually liable for Council Tax who pay through the landlord for water and/or sewerage services

· Commercial landlords who have tenants in living space (eg a flat above a shop) liable for Council Tax who pay through them for water and/or sewerage services

To claim the reduction, 'resellers' must complete a special Reseller Registration form which will be sent to them shortly.

For further information please contact:

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Press Office



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