Dwr Cymru is investing £1.3 billion for Wales
Welsh Water continues to enhance its operating and financial performance, enabling us to reduce customer bills in real terms and to help some 40,000 low income households, whilst also investing at near record levels, sustaining jobs and improving customer service across Wales and Herefordshire.
Chairman Robert Ayling said, “Dwr Cymru is performing well in this increasingly difficult economic environment for our customers, when it is all the more important that we deliver a high quality, reliable and above all affordable service. Under our unique ownership model, all the profits we earn are retained in the business for the benefit of our customers. The robust financial position that we have built up means that we can press ahead with our £1.3 billion capital investment programme to improve services and sustain jobs while at the same time continuing to reduce customer bills in real terms.”
“But we have still more to do, particularly in improving the environmental performance of our sewerage network, which has roughly doubled in size following the transfer of private sewers on 1 October. Our new advanced anaerobic digestion plants at Cardiff and Afan sewage works, which now produce enough electricity to power a town the size of Brecon or Caernarfon, are good examples of what can be done.”
Highlights for the last six months
Customer bills and affordability
- Dwr Cymru’s average household bill this year is £411 which is 2% lower than last year in real terms.
- Dwr Cymru has a range of tariffs and other assistance which now helps some 40,000 of our least well off customers, more than any other company in the sector.
- The latest tracking research shows 87% customer satisfaction.
- The number of customer complaints is down by 62% in the first six months of the year.
- Independent research carried out during the summer with 140 business customers found a satisfaction rate of 85%, with only 1 in 20 saying they would switch to another supplier.
Drinking water quality
- In the first nine months of 2011, 99.96% of samples taken for water quality compliance passed the required standard, equaling the very high standard achieved last year. There have been 4 “water quality incidents” reportable to the Drinking Water Inspectorate, down from 9 in the same period last year.
- We continue to make good progress with our £137 million programme to upgrade 39 water treatment facilities and in the first six months of this financial year Cilfor, Penycefn and Capel Curig were commissioned.
Protecting our environment
- Investment in renewable generation and other efficiencies have enabled us to reduce energy purchases by over 20% in the first half of this financial year. Advanced anaerobic digestion plants at Cardiff and Afan sewage works now generate enough electricity to power 8,000 homes.
- Wales secured 46 Blue Flag beaches and marinas for the 2011 summer season, a third of the total awarded to the UK.
- There have been 3 “category 1 and 2” pollution incidents in the first nine months of 2011, down from 8 in the same period last year, but there has been no improvement in the number of less serious “category 3” pollution incidents (with 207 in the last nine months).
- Leakage in the last six months was 184 mld, below the target level for the year of 188 mld.
- We have taken on responsibility for 17,000km of private sewers and lateral drains, a near doubling of our sewer network – a major challenge but one that will remove a long standing burden for many of our customers and lead to fewer environmental problems in the long term.
- In an increasingly difficult economic environment, Dwr Cymru benefits from its robust financial position. The level of net debt has been reduced to 65% of regulatory capital value down from 93% in 2001. Dwr Cymru continues to have the strongest credit rating in the sector with its senior bonds rated A by Standard and Poor’s and Fitch and A3 by Moody’s.
- During the five year regulatory period to 2015, we plan to invest £1.3 billion to safeguard drinking water quality, protect our environment from pollution, improve customer service and deliver further cost savings. The success of our £120 million fund raising in July 2011 means that funding is now in place for the whole of this five year investment programme.
- Profit before taxation and fair value adjustments of £34 million (September 2010: £42 million) retained in the business for the benefit of customers.
- Operating costs are 4% lower in real terms.
- Capital investment in the first six months of this financial year of £113 million (September 2010: £117 million) - £355 million has now been invested since the start of the current five year AMP5 investment programme in 2010.
Notes for editors
- Glas Cymru was formed in April 2000 for the sole purpose of acquiring Welsh Water. It is a company limited by guarantee registered under the Companies Act 2006. Glas Cymru has no shareholders. Instead, Members carry out an important corporate governance role but they do not receive dividends nor do they have any other financial interest in the company. This corporate structure ensures that all financial surpluses generated are retained and reinvested for the benefit of Welsh Water and its customers.
- Glas Cymru’s constitution strictly limits its purpose to that of financing water assets in Welsh Water’s area of appointment and managing Welsh Water’s business so that high quality water and sewerage services are delivered at least cost to the communities served by Welsh Water. Glas Cymru cannot diversify into other unrelated commercial activities.
- Welsh Water has a number of affordability tariffs, unique in the UK water industry, which provide assistance to some customers who are facing financial hardship as they pay their water charges. These include capped charges for a specific group of customers with low income and high water use, and a range of collection methods that includes a discount for direct payment from benefits