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Consumers face 'double-digit' rise in water bills

Consumers face 'double-digit' rise in water bills

Thursday 12 October 2023

Consumers face 'double-digit' rise in water bills

Thursday 12 October 2023


The cost of water will increase from the start of 2024 as a result of rising costs, but Jersey Water has confirmed the price-hike will be kept in line with inflation.

An average household should expect to pay around 12p per day higher from 1 January, equating to 10.9% or approximately £45 per year.

The utility company said that the rise was the result of escalating costs in many areas, but that nevertheless it was able to maintain its policy of remaining at or inside the rate of inflation, using Jersey's 10.9% retail price index figure for June.

Chief Executive Helier Smith said the company had managed to stay within its inflation policy for 17 of the past 20 years, emphasising that it was aware of the economic circumstances for many islanders.

He said: “We remain mindful that many islanders are also experiencing pressure on their own cost of living, so we have done all we can to offset the increases in our operational costs and limit what is passed onto our customers.

"At the same time, we need to maintain our water charges at appropriate levels to ensure Jersey Water can continue to deliver the high-quality water supply and service levels that customers expect, whilst maintaining investment in the Island’s water resources, network, treatment facilities and other infrastructure."

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Pictured: Jersey Water Chief Executive Helier Smith.

Costs had risen in many areas, Mr Smith said, including staff wages and fees charged by contractors, energy prices, supplier bills and interest charges.

Although he conceded that pegging the price rise would affect timescales for some areas of investment, Mr Smith said there were a number of projects going ahead in 2024.

"We will be replacing about one-and-a-half kilometres of mains, and expanding our network by 0.5km," he said. "We will also be spending hundreds of thousands of pounds in preparing to launch our new water resources management plan in 2025."

The management plan will cover a five-year plan and look at options for how Jersey's supplies of water can be safeguarded and increased.

Asked about how household bills in Jersey compared with the UK and other jurisdictions, Mr Smith said that it was difficult to make like-for-like comparisons.

"There is a lot of variation with different areas of the UK in terms of their size, pipework, the nature of the community and the treatment necessary for water, but we benchmark favourably with the UK and also other island jurisdictions," he said.

Islanders would not face any further increase in the price of water until the start of 2025, Mr Smith said.

Jersey Water is asking customers to get in touch if they have difficulty paying their water bill, or want details on saving money via free water-saving devices or the free GetWaterFit app, with information also available at jerseywater.je.

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