Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, has today announced that £32 million – the equivalent to dividends paid to shareholders in other companies – will be used to:
- provide additional financial support for those customers struggling to pay their bills;
- invest in renewable energy generation schemes to cut carbon emissions and to help keep down future customer bills;
- target improvements for areas suffering repeat problems with their water supply; and
- part-fund a new visitor centre at the Llys y Frân reservoir in Pembrokeshire.
This £32 million is in addition to the previously announced £1 million-a-day capital investment programme (totalling £1.7 billion between 2015 and 2020) and commitment to keep the average household water and sewerage bill below the rate of inflation in every year until 2020. The company also announced its best overall performance and that it will consult its customers over the summer on how any future financial surpluses could be used.
Robert Ayling, Welsh Water Chairman, said: “I am glad and proud to report that after 15 years of our ownership, Welsh Water is in very good shape both operationally and financially. Our sole purpose is to achieve the highest standards for customers at the lowest possible cost. We have shown that our non-shareholder model of ownership can deliver that.”
Welsh Water’s Chief Executive, Chris Jones said: “Our unique ownership model allows us to use, for the benefit of our customers, money that in other companies would be paid to shareholders. This will help cut our costs – and therefore customers’ bills – by generating more energy on our own sites; by improving the service in areas where we’re having repeat problems; providing additional support for customers struggling to pay; and to help build a new environmental visitor attraction in Pembrokeshire.”
“Customers have indicated that they want to see us strike the right balance between keeping bills low today, improving performance where it isn’t to the standard they expect, and investing now to cut the cost for future customers. The additional £32 million of funding announced today will help us strike that balance and our research shows that customers support this package by four to one.
“We also believe it is important that customers have a voice in how the value generated by our not-for-profit model is used in the future. We will shortly launch a consultation over the summer months inviting our customers to have their say on this most vital of public services.”
-Source Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water-