Customer charges will help to fund a £329 million programme of investment by Yorkshire Water over the next year.
From April 1, the average water bill in the region is set to increase by £12 per year - or £1 per month - with the average bill rising to £368 - ensuring they remain below the national average.
The move comes as the company enters the fourth year of its biggest ever investment programme, which will see £3.5 billion spent between 2010 and 2015 to deliver significant improvements to water and waste water services, as well as the wider water environment, including the region’s bathing waters and rivers.
Amongst some of the improvements which will benefit customers are:
£1 million scheme in Beverley to install an underground tank capable of holding 10,000 bath tubs of waste water, which will help to reduce the risk of sewer flooding in the area during periods of very heavy rainfall;
£120 million to help reduce the risk of sewer flooding through improvements to the company’s 54,000km sewer network and waste water treatment facilities;
And £110 million to help improve bathing water quality along Yorkshire’s coast, boosting tourism and benefitting local businesses like hotels and restaurants.
Richard Flint, Yorkshire Water’s chief executive, said: “We know that things are really tough out there, with a lot of people really feeling the pinch, which is why it’s so important that essential service providers like ourselves explain exactly why price increases are necessary and just what they will finance.
“A significant part of this rise is down to inflation, and the fact that the price of many of the products and services we use as a company has risen. The remainder of the increase will be used to fund our ongoing investment in the region - £376 million over the next 12 months.
“This investment is all the more important as we face into the challenge of ensuring our clean and waste water networks are prepared for the extra pressures they’ll come under in future years as a result of climate change and population growth, whilst doing everything we can to keep bills as low as possible during these times of austerity.
“Not only will this investment deliver huge benefits, from reducing the number of homes and businesses affected by flooding from sewers during times of exceptional rainfall, through to protecting drinking water supplies and improving the quality of the region’s rivers and bathing waters, but it will also serve to underpin the region’s economy and boosting employment at a critical time”.
Yorkshire Water has also reminded customers that help is available for those who are struggling to pay their bills.
The company runs a number of initiatives aimed at supporting customers, including the Yorkshire Water Community Trust - a registered charity which provides financial assistance to customers who are in debt. For more information, call 0845 1 24 24 24 or visit yorkshirewater.com/billhelp,