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Bournemouth Water News

BOURNEMOUTH WATER PLEDGES LOWER BILLS, EXTRA INVESTMENT & NEW REWARD SCHEME FOR CUSTOMERS IN RADICAL ‘NEW DEAL’

03/09/2018 07:00:00


  • Bills to be lower by 2025 than in 2015

  • Triple the current investment, including two new water treatment works

  • New innovative customer reward scheme & shareholding

     

Bournemouth Water customers can look forward to lower bills, £120million of new investment and an innovative reward scheme as part of a 2020-25 business plan, which was submitted today (3 September) to Ofwat, the water industry’s economic regulator.

 

The plan was submitted by South West Water, part of the Pennon Group Plc and owner of Bournemouth Water. It will now be assessed by Ofwat.

 

Entitled ‘A New Deal’, the plan was shaped by Bournemouth Water’s biggest ever consultation and includes proposals to:

 

  • ensure average bill rises remain below inflation, delivering some of the lowest water bills in the UK, and provide extra support for those who may struggle to pay.  By 2025 the average bill will be lower than it was in 2015

  • spend about £120million to improve services (almost triple the current level of investment), including the construction of two new state-of-the-art water treatment works, one at Knapp Mill and another, subsequently, at Alderney

  • offer customers a shareholding in Pennon and a greater say in the running of Bournemouth Water, building on the pioneering WaterShare scheme, first introduced by South West Water in 2015, which rewards customers for the company’s outperformance (and protects them from underperformance), with extra investment or even lower bills

 

Other highlights include:   

 

  • The rollout of catchment management initiatives along the Rivers Avon and Stour to protect raw water quality from pesticides

  • A further 15% reduction in leakage

  • Working with social housing providers and Citizens Advice Bureau to provide further support for those who may struggle most to pay their bills

  • Improvements to maintain sector-leading customer service

  • The launch of a water efficiency initiative for unmetered customers

  • No water restrictions

  • A reduction in supply interruptions

     

Dr Stephen Bird, Managing Director of Bournemouth Water, said: “Since welcoming Bournemouth Water to the Pennon family, we have built upon its industry-leading service and drinking water standards, maintained some of the lowest water bills in the country and introduced a new support scheme for billpayers. 

 

“We’re on track to deliver the current 2015-20 business plan, but there’s always more to do. Our new business plan offers all-round improvements in what customers have told us they value most.

 

“As customers have shaped our new plan and will be partners in its delivery, we think it’s only right that they should be offered a real stake in the business and a greater say in what Bournemouth Water does and how it does it.

 

“That’s why we’ll be introducing a first-of-its-kind shareholder scheme for customers and a greater opportunity for them to hold us to account.  Also, in a natural evolution of South West Water’s innovative WaterShare scheme, we will share our success with Bournemouth Water customers.

 

“The New Deal is the next step forward for Bournemouth Water and South West Water, and represents a big leap forward for the water industry, putting more control into customers’ hands.”

 

Nick Buckland OBE, Chair of the WaterFuture Customer Panel (the independent panel of consumer and environmental stakeholders tasked with scrutinising and assuring the development of the plan against customer wishes), said: “We believe this plan reflects the expectations of customers, delivering more of what matters to them and including a truly radical approach to empowering customers through the WaterShare scheme.

 

“At every stage of the process the Panel has challenged and tested the company’s customer engagement and proposals.

 

“We are pleased that the company has responded by delivering an ambitious and progressive plan which will bring multiple benefits to people, communities, business, and the environment of the unique regions the company serves.”

 

To read the plan visit www.southwestwater.co.uk/newdeal

 

Notes to editors:

 

South West Water is the water and wastewater service provider for Cornwall, Devon and part of Somerset and Dorset. Since 2016 it has also been responsible for water service provision for Bournemouth Water customers, covering the areas of Poole, Bournemouth, Christchurch as well as a large part of the New Forest National Park.

 

For more information on the Price Review (PR19) visit www.ofwat.gov.uk/investor/pr19/

 

www.bournemouthwater.co.uk

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