Oct 27, 2020

England’s water regulator warns of higher bills over profit proposal

England's water regulator has warned that a proposal by the Competition and Markets Authority to allow investors to make higher returns will raise bills for customers. The CMA surprised the industry last month by supporting four water companies that challenged an Ofwat ruling on how much profit companies could make. Customer bills currently average about £397 a year and the water companies are allowed to make a profit equivalent to 20 per cent of that. The battle between the regulators comes amid a growing outcry over the performance of England's privatised water companies, which have been accused of extracting excessive dividends and paying high salaries at the same time as presiding over a series of pollution and leakage failures. Although water bills have increased by an average of 40 per cent since privatisation, water monopolies have racked up £51bn in debt.

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