Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water to invest £1 billion over the next three years
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water today announced that it will be investing £1 billion over the next three years on a wide range of infrastructure projects across Wales, Herefordshire and Deeside.
This programme includes £100 million of additional investment in projects that were not originally earmarked for the current 5-year regulatory investment period (2010-15). This accelerated programme is made possible by the financing efficiency benefits that come from Glas Cymru’s unique “not-for-profit” ownership of Dŵr Cymru.
This record investment spend will be carried out while average household bills are falling in real terms. It will deliver a host of improvements to the essential public service Dŵr Cymru provides to 3 million people, including, for example, major upgrades to water and wastewater treatment works at places such as Llyswen (Powys), Bala (Meirionnydd) and Aberporth (Ceredigion) and improved renewable energy schemes such as at our Wrexham wastewater treatment works. At a time when many companies and public bodies are cutting back on investment, this investment programme is employing some 10% of the construction sector in our region with more than 50% of spend going to local companies in the supply chain, supporting some 1,500 jobs
Announcing the Company’s results for the year ended 31 March 2012, Bob Ayling, Chairman, said: “Our ambition is to deliver the best possible outcomes for our customers supplying drinking water of the highest quality and safeguarding the environment that we look after on behalf of the communities we serve. We also hope to show that the unique business model we have established for the water industry in our region is working for our customers. I am pleased to report that we have made significant progress in the year towards these objectives.
“The Glas Cymru model means that our first priority is to our customers and looking after Dŵr Cymru’s extensive infrastructure for future generations. We have been able to accelerate investment and do more for our customers while bills are falling in real terms. We are also improving the experience our customers receive when they deal with us day to day. Customer satisfaction reached a record 90% and we ranked amongst the best companies on Ofwat’s industry league table for customer satisfaction. Customer complaints have more than halved and have never been lower. Especially encouraging have been the results from two independent surveys of our largest business customers which showed that overall satisfaction with our service now stands at 89%. And at a time when household incomes are under great pressure, particularly in our region, we are pleased that we are doing more than any other water company to help, with more than 44,000 of our least well off customers benefitting from one of our social tariffs or our Customer Assistance Fund.”
A full copy of the Preliminary Results Report can be found here - click here
Highlights for the year
- lowest bill increase of all water and sewerage companies for the second year running. After deducting RPI inflation, Dŵr Cymru’s average household bill is projected by Ofwat to be 6% lower in 2015 than it was in the year before Glas Cymru took over the ownership of Dŵr Cymru;
- sector leading performance on operating cost efficiency, with a further 3% real reduction in operating costs taking the total reduction to 8% since 2001;
- gearing – total net borrowings as a percentage of regulatory asset value – reduced to 65% from 67% in 2011 and 93% in 2001;
- highest credit ratings in the UK utilities sector;
- capital investment of £262 million (up from £242million in 2011);
- profit (before tax and fair value movements) of £7 million retained in the business for the benefit of customers.
- high drinking water quality maintained with 99.96% of samples taken at customers’ taps complying with standards;
- 90% customer satisfaction with day to day service as measured by both independent tracking research and by research carried out by Ofwat, the industry regulator;
- 89% business customer satisfaction as measured by independent research carried out with Dŵr Cymru’s largest customers;
- customer complaints cut by more than half to less than 5,000;
- just 116 properties experienced unplanned interruptions to supply lasting more than 6 hours;
- private sewers are now the responsibility of Dŵr Cymru, potentially doubling the size of our sewer network, removing worry and expense for many of our household customers;
- more than 13,000 sewer blockages cleared, keeping the number of flooding incidents to less than 200 properties, the best result for several years;
- some 44,000 household customers benefitting from one of Dŵr Cymru’s sector leading social tariffs and Customer Assistance Fund
- 43 beaches and five marinas won Blue Flags this year - a third of the total awarded to all of the UK – and 53 Green Coast awards for rural beaches were also won;
- a record number of Welsh beaches recommended in the Good Beach Guide;
- leakage target achieved and is now at record low level – leakage has been halved since the 1990s;
- no water use restrictions across our operating region for 23 years;
- serious pollution incidents cut to just four and the total number of pollution incidents caused by sewer blockages and equipment failures also lower; however, 22 wastewater treatment works (out of more than 800) did not comply with their consents; moreover, insufficient samples were taken at a further four works to demonstrate compliance; a “fast tracked” turnaround plan, backed by an additional investment of £30 million, is progressing well and our performance to date in 2012 is better than in the same period last year
- carbon emissions cut by 12% or 40,000 tonnes with new green renewable energy schemes fully operational at Cardiff and Port Talbot.
Enquiries to the Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water press office on 029 2055 6140