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UK regulator hands down water bill price cuts to utilities

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(Reuters) – Britain’s water industry regulator said on Thursday 7.9 million households in the country could see their annual water bills fall by as much as 70 pounds before inflation by 2025, as part of a plan put forward by three utilities.

In its draft plan published on Thursday, Ofwat said Severn Trent would have to cut bills by 16 pounds, United Utilities by 49 pounds and Pennon Group-owned South West Water by 77 pounds.

Those were the differences between projected 2019-20 and 2024-25 bills at 2017-18 prices, the regulator said http://pdf.reuters.com/htmlnews/htmlnews.asp?i=43059c3bf0e37541&u=urn:newsml:reuters.com:20190411:nRSK8293Va.

Ofwat said its draft decisions for 2020 to 2025 also meant that the three utilities would spend 1.2 billion pounds to reduce pollution and clean 4,500 kilometres of rivers.

Shares in blue-chip companies Severn Trent and United Utilities lost 1.3 percent and 1.1 percent, while mid-cap Pennon slipped 1 percent in early deals.

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru)

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