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We’re working hard to deliver great value

Every time you pay your bill, the money helps us deliver life’s essential service. It also allows us to make important investments in our network and local communities.

Each year we reinvest around £1bn into improving our network. We’re the UK’s biggest water company, so it’s our duty to protect our major water source, the River Thames. Our large-scale projects, such as the Thames Tideway Tunnel and the Guildford Sewage Treatment Works relocation, are transforming our water and sewer networks to protect the environment and better serve our customers.

Where your money goes

A diagram illustrating how each pound we spend is made up.

25p on our essential services

As the UK’s largest water company, we deliver and recycle billions of litres of water, every single day.

16p on our team

From engineers in the field to scientists in the lab, our 7,100-strong team works together to keep your water flowing.

7p on the government

We paid over £154 million in business rates and employer's national insurance contributions in 2020/21.

10p on our lenders

To invest in our network, we borrow money at efficient rates while keeping your bills as low as we can.

4p on reinvestment

We reinvest to improve our service to you.

6p on powering our sites

We currently generate more than 20% of our own energy to help protect the environment.

32p on infrastructure

This includes 3p for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, which will divert millions of tonnes of sewage from the River Thames when it goes into operation.

How our charges are changing this year

All water and utility companies tend to raise their prices every year. This is to cover the rising costs of operating and inflation. But this isn’t the only thing that affects how our charges might change.

Another factor is targets. Every water company is set targets for finding, fixing and preventing leaks by our regulator Ofwat. If we don’t hit these targets we’re given financial penalties. We pay these by giving a leakage rebate on your bills – reducing your charges. When we do this, we’ll show on your bill how many days of free water this reduction adds up to. In our 2021/22 charges, it’s the equivalent of three days of free water*. You can learn more about how we're performing in our annual report.

We’ve recently performed very well in finding and fixing leaks, so we’re giving a lower leakage rebate this year. This means from 1 April 2021, our bills went up a little more than last time. For customers who receive water and wastewater services from us, our charges will typically increase by between 4.5% and 4.6%. This is the same if you have a meter or not. Depending on where you live and your tariff, this will be an extra £12 to £25 per year, or no more than £2.10 per month if you pay by monthly Direct Debit.

For customers who only receive water services from us, the increase will be a bit higher (7.2%). For waste-only customers, it will be slightly lower (around 1.5%). This is because the biggest annual increase is to our water rates.

We’d like to help you keep your bills as low as possible. If you’re worried they’re too high, you’ll find advice to help you on our tariff pages.

A milestone achievement

In 2019/2020 we achieved the industry’s biggest reduction in leakage this century. Every single week we fixed an average of 1,400 leaks. Our smart metering programme across London helped us hit this record. It saw us reduce leakage across our 20,000-mile network of pipes by 15 per cent. If you have a smart meter, thank you for helping us reach this milestone achievement.

*Some bills this year contained an old message about our leakage rebate. We've now updated this and we're sorry for any confusion.

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