WATER BILLS MAY NEED TO RISE TO SECURE SERVICE IMPROVEMENTS WARNS REGULATOR
Water bills may have to rise from January next year the Water and Waste Regulatory Office (WWRO) warned today.
WWRO is currently in discussions with the seven regional water suppliers (RWCs) to finalise tariffs which will apply for the three years from 1 January 2012. The water regulator will be announcing the tariffs within the next month that will apply to water and wastewater services provided by the seven regional water companies throughout Kosovo.
WWRO said that the number of complaints from customers about poor service had increased during the last year. If customers are to receive a better water and wastewater service then the tariffs will need to be set at higher levels to generate money for investment. At the same time the water companies must be prepared to increase their efficiency and carry out the investment for which customers will be paying.
In July WWRO published its annual performance report which showed that in 2010 the performance of the RWCs had worsened. Water losses have increased compared to the previous year. Water supply in many regions is not continuously. The frequency of failures in water supply and the wastewater network increased as did the number of customer complaints (by over 30%). In addition planned investments were not implemented.
The root cause of this situation is the inability of the RWCs to collect all the money they are due from customers. But it is also the responsibility of all customers to pay their bills in full and on time.
WWRO will be setting tariffs which assume the RWCs will become more efficient and be in a position to generate more cash themselves. However, that alone will not be enough to finance the necessary investment to improve services.
WWRO will pay due regard to the ability of customers to pay their water bills during the tariff determination.
NOTES TO EDITOR
As the economic regulator of the water supply sector WWRO has a requirement under Kosovan Law No. 03/L-086 to set tariffs which ensure that the water companies do not abuse their monopoly positions and provide a reasonable standard of service at a fair price. To achieve this WWRO is setting tariffs on the basis of expectations of improved operational and commercial efficiency but nonetheless still encouraging the investment necessary to improve levels of services to those expected of a modern European country.
A press notice will be issued when Tariff Orders are published which will set out the tariff increases to apply to each of the RWCs. Details will also be posted on the website www.wwro-ks.org. The increase in tariffs for each company will vary according to their costs and expected efficiency, which is directly linked to their capital investments programmes. This tariff process will be finalised after analysing and evaluating the operational and financial data of RWCs and after consultations with the RWCs and other stakeholders including the regional consultative committees (CCCs)
Copies of the 2010 Annual Performance Report can also be found on the WWRO website
MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO WWRO +381 38 249 165 ext. 101