The Welsh Assembly Government is launching a consultation on recommendations from the independent review of charging for household water and sewerage services conducted by senior public services regulator Anna Walker.
Speaking about the consultation, Jane Davidson said:
“Keeping water bills at an affordable level is a priority for the Welsh Assembly Government.
“We want customers to have a choice of charging options that will drive up efficiencies, reduce debt issues and deliver benefits for all customers, whilst at the same time protecting vulnerable groups.
“That is why we are seeking views on how we can help vulnerable groups with their bills through the development of a Welsh specific tariff to help ensure that bills remain affordable."
WaterSure (a scheme to allow capped bills for low-income metered customers or customers with high essential use for medical reasons) already offers support for some households.
The WaterSure scheme is currently voluntarily adopted in Wales. The consultation invites views on introducing a Welsh equivalent of WaterSure that includes both metered and unmetered households. It also invites views on what the Assembly Government should cover in guidance to water companies on company social tariffs.
As well as proposals to make water more affordable to those most in need, the Assembly Government would like to hear the views of interested parties on:
- Water efficiency: proposals for encouraging greater water efficiency
- Metering: a discussion on possible future options for metering, drawing on Anna Walker’s proposals, in order to help inform and develop the Assembly Government’s future policy in this area
A wide range of interested parties will be consulted, including groups that represent vulnerable people, the Consumer Council for Water, Ofwat, the Environment Agency and water and sewerage companies.
Responses will be used to inform future Welsh Assembly Government policies in these areas.