YORKSHIRE Water has submitted plans to Ofwat outlining a £7.8bn investment across the region between 2025 and 2030, though customers' bills will increase to accommodate delivery.

The plan, as part of the Price Review 24 (PR24) process, marks the start of the utility’s largest environmental investment in the region.

A breakdown of the funding shows £3.1bn will drive efforts to deliver secure, safe, clean water supplies with improved resilience of its network of pipes and a focus on future water resource needs, while £4.3bn will support plans for a healthy, natural environment, with a focus on protecting and improving river and coastal water quality, to create a cleaner, safer water environment.

The plan outlines investment in customer service and an increase in support available to customers with an investment of £446m. This includes financial support for half a million (500,000) customers, direct help with water bills for 280,000 customers and £250m worth of financial support across the five years.

However, it also comes at a cost. 

If approved, plans would see average customer bills rise from £438.12 in 2024/25 (£36.51 per month) to £518.76 in 2025/26 (£43.23 per month) with small increases each year thereafter. Yorkshire Water is enhancing its support for customers who may be struggling financially and will be increasing its contributions to help those most in need. All low-income households will be able to access financial support from Yorkshire Water and the utility is committed to increasing its support for customers by 25 per cent.

Shareholders have committed to supporting the aims of the business through further funding to deliver plans to help Yorkshire thrive. This includes £100m before end of March 2025 and £440m before end of June 2027.

The plan, subject to approval by Ofwat, will support employment for more than 10,000 people across Yorkshire.

Nicola Shaw, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Water, said: “This submission marks our largest ever environmental investment and illustrates our commitment to deliver what our customers expect. The programme will protect and improve the quality of water in rivers and at coasts.

"The next steps in this process are for Ofwat to provide us with draft determinations in the early summer 2024 and then final determinations before the end of 2024 before we start the new period in April 2025.”

As well as meeting customer expectations, the submission includes investment to meet the regulatory requirements of the Water Industry National Environment Programme priorities, including delivering the Storm Overflow Discharge Reduction Plan, as well as improving and protecting river water quality and the Water Resource Management Plan.