New round in battle over future water prices

The four-cornered contest over the levels to which water bills will be allowed to rise advanced a step further in June when water companies made their opening bids for future price limits. In some cases these will not pay for environmental standards dictated by legislation - and neither, despite claims by the industry's price regulator, will they satisfy customers' demands for higher water quality.

The water companies have been consulting their customers about their willingness to pay for higher levels of service in the run-up to the fixing of water price limits into the next century by the Office of Water Services (OFWAT). Some have employed questionable methodologies in their customer consultation exercises in an apparent bid to get the answers they want (ENDS Report 220, pp 17-19 

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