A MOVE allowing businesses to shop around for water suppliers threatens to slap an extra £10 on household bills in Devon, it has been warned.
South West Water has told MPs that the planned introduction of competition into the industry for commercial customers will 'inevitably' impact on other consumers.
In evidence to a parliamentary inquiry, the firm points out some costs and services which benefit households more, such as bad debt and installation of water meters, are currently recovered across the whole customer base.
And 'unwinding' these cross subsidies would increase domestic bills by as much as £10.
The utility company has said it is vital the changes do not 'disproportionately' affect domestic customers.
Such a hike would represent a hammer blow to efforts to help hard-pressed families.
And the increase would also wipe out a fifth of the £50 rebate being offered to every household in recognition of the underlying 'unfairness' of charges in the region.