Business Plan 2015-2020

Information on our 2015-2020 Business Plan can be found below. For information on the independent challenge group for the period visit the Customer View Group page here.

Process

On 2 December 2014, we submitted our final  business plan for 2015 – 2020 to Ofwat as part of the price review process, which takes place every five years.  We had previously submitted our draft pIan in December 2013 and following discussions with Ofwat during 2014 we submitted a revised plan in June 2014.

Ofwat then issued their draft determination in August  2014 a copy of which can be found on Ofwat`s website This resulted in us producing our Final Business Plan. 

Ofwat issued their final determination in January 2015  which we have accepted. A copy of this can be found on Ofwat`s website.

In particular, our plan makes provision for:

  • A price freeze until April 2015,
  • An actual decrease in the bill for the year from April 2015,
  • Increases that are lower than inflation for the following four years from 2016, and
  • An improved service, incorporating what customers have told us are priorities: 
    • a reduction in leakage
    • a reduced risk of supply interruption

The documents submitted to Ofwat during the business plan process are shown below:

Our Draft Business Plan December 2013

Our Draft Business Plan Summary

Delivering more for less (Non-technical summary)

June 2014 revised plan

Business Plan – Representation following Ofwat’s draft determination

Ensuring our research is effective

In order to ensure the effectiveness of our customer research, an independent group was established to oversee and challenge this aspect of our future planning. A detailed description of what this group did is shown in the Terms of reference.

Members of this group were industry regulators and representatives from the local community. A full list is shown below. The members of the group were all completely independent from Bournemouth Water. The group was called the Customer Engagement Planning Forum (CEPF) and they monitored  and challenged our engagement with customers to ensure that it was effective and meaningful and, at the end of the process they submitted a report to Ofwat.

Members of the Customer Engagement Planning Forum

Charles Howeson, Chairman
Philip Warr, Deputy Chairman
Gillian Mayhew, Consumer Council for Water
Ed Vidler, Consumer Council for Water
Alan Burrows, Environment Agency
Jacky Atkinson, Drinking Water Inspectorate
Douglas Kite, Natural England
Mike Holmes, Bournemouth Borough Council
Lindsay Cass, Christchurch and East Dorset Partnership
Jonathan Holyhead, Dorset Blind Association

Minutes of CEPF meetings

Reports to Ofwat

Research

In 2012 we began a planned and thorough process to establish the views of our customers. It is not practical to speak to every customer so we employed the services of an experienced market research company who conducted research with a representative sample of customers on our behalf. 

 
The research program started in May 2012 with a series of 13 discussion groups, each comprising around 6 customers selected at random from business groups, vulnerable people, younger members of the community and householders. Each group was encouraged to talk about water in general and Bournemouth Water in particular. Apart from making a short audiovisual presentation, we had no involvement in this process, thereby ensuring that the contributors’ views were not influenced by us. 

The findings from these discussion groups formed the basis of formal telephone research, commencing in July 2012, during which around 500 domestic and 150 business customers took part in a survey. The survey was independently designed by our market research company and our involvement was again kept to the minimum possible. In November 2012, we tested the findings with a group of 20 customers, 10 domestic and 10 business, who we invited to spend a day with us. This enabled us to explore in more depth the findings of the survey by listening to their opinions to ensure they mirrored our analysis of the findings. 

This enabled us to carry out more specific research on what our customers’ priorities are for their water supply for the period 2015-2020. And then finally, to re-assure ourselves that we had correctly interpreted the views of our customers, we held a series of research events where customers were recruited from the street and shown details of our proposed plans. After having the chance to study and consider the proposals they were asked: “Is this plan acceptable to you?” and 79% of the 196 people asked said “Yes”. 

In addition to the above program we also liaised with local schools to seek out the views of our “Future Customers”. 8 secondary schools took part and over 1000 questionnaires by students aged 16-18 were returned. The findings from this research will assist us in our long term planning. 

The results and information obtained from our customers during the above program were submitted to Ofwat with our Draft Business Plan in December 2013. 

Research process.jpg

 

Following Ofwat’s Risk Based Review of our December submission we undertook further research to establish our customers’ specific views on two key areas|: 
  • The continuation of our policy to install meters when a change of occupier took place and 
  • Whether the slight additional cost of being a small company represented value for money for our customers. 
The results from this research influenced our revised plan submitted in June 2014. 

In August 2014, having reviewed our revised plan Ofwat issued their draft determination. We subsequently undertook one final piece of research to explore customer’s views on whether they preferred changes to their bills to reflect actual costs incurred in the previous 12 months or should we smooth changes to bills evenly over the 5 year period. Over 66% of our customers opted for smooth bills. 

The results from this final piece of research influenced our revised plan submitted in June 2014. 

In August 2014, having reviewed our revised plan Ofwat issued their draft determination. We subsequently undertook one final piece of research to explore customer’s views on whether they preferred changes to their bills to reflect actual costs incurred in the previous 12 months or should we smooth changes to bills evenly over the 5 year period. Over 66% of our customers opted for smooth bills. 

The results from this final piece of research were a key component of our response to the draft determination in October 2014.  

Research process - post risk based review.jpg

Our Performance Commitments

Our performance during the period April 2015 to March 2020 will be measured by series of performance commitments. These performance commitments are the method by which our Outcome Delivery Incentives (ODIs) can be accurately monitored. 

The Outcomes chosen were directly influenced by the research we undertook with our customers. 

The Outcome Delivery Incentive paper explains our menu choice and how this has a bearing on the rewards or penalties we may receive depending on under or over performance towards our stated performance commitments. 

The Performance Commitments Targets (1) shows the measurable target for each outcome with a direct financial reward or penalty. The Performance Commitment Targets (2) shows further outcomes which will impact only on reputation and do not have a direct financial implication.