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Anglian Water unveils £425million investment plan

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

  • £60million war on leakage continues - Anglian Water best in business as leaks drop even further
  • Innovation programme launched to create the water network of the future
  • Investment paid for by average bills of £1.15 per day per household, with metered customers paying even less
  • More help than ever for vulnerable customers: £1million a year for those in financial difficulty; thousands moved to bespoke social tariff; free water saving gadgets
  • Third year of £5billion commitment to maintain and improve water and sewerage services in five years to 2020

Anglian Water has today unveiled a huge investment programme for the year ahead, worth £425million.

The money will be targeted at maintaining and improving customer services across the East of England. The funds will be ploughed into the areas that customers say matter most to them including reducing leakage even further, providing top quality drinking water, protecting against severe weather such as drought and flooding, and tackling the impacts of climate change.

The investment comes in the third year of a £5billion commitment to 2020, which will be paid for by average bills of just £1.15 per day for an entire family - less than a litre of bottled water or one coffee.

The company has been able to keep bill increases at the level of inflation (2.2%) this year because of the efficient way it runs the business.

Customer bills are still lower than they were four years ago. Anglian Water cut bills by 7% in 2015 - this was the biggest reduction of any major water company in the UK - and has continued to keep them low.

Customers who use a water meter pay even less. Their average bills are just £1.06 per day, £388.70 for the year – an increase on last year of 2.1 per cent, or 2 pence per day, to account for inflation.

Jane Taylor, Head of Customer Services at Anglian Water, said: “Bills are still lower than they were four years ago thanks to the price reductions we promised back then. We’re always doing everything we can to be even more efficient at running the business, which translates into value for money for our customers.

“To strike the right balance we’re continuing to keep costs as low as possible long term while still investing heavily in the things customers care about most.

“For an average of £1.15 per day you get all your clean water for washing and drinking, plus, all your sewerage services is included in the cost, which takes the dirty water away, cleans it and returns it safely to the environment.

“Water meters are still the best way to save money, and with the average annual metered bill coming in £171 cheaper than customers who don’t use a meter, the savings speak for themselves. It’s a win-win because it’s free to switch to a meter, and if you aren’t completely satisfied you can switch back, for free, within two years.”

How is customers’ money invested?

Stellar leakage performance for another year: drones are just the latest weapon in Anglian Water’s £60 million war on leakage. The company is using them and other high-tech tools, as well as putting more boots on the ground, to find and fix more leaks faster than ever before. The results speak for themselves with Anglian Water having the best leakage record in the business - around half the national average of other water companies.

Anglian Water reduced leakage again last year, finding and fixing 8,000 leaks to beat its target by 5 per cent. This amounts to saving 10 Olympic swimming pools of water every single day.

Paul Valleley, Water Services Director for Anglian Water, said: “We hate leaks as much as our customers do and we’re determined to keep reducing them. Our targets are already way ahead of other water companies and we’re always looking for new ways to push things forward. We now have a 300-strong leakage team, working on projects such as our innovative pressure management scheme that dramatically reduce the number of bursts. We’ve even got drones with thermal imaging cameras finding leaks from the air.

“We invested up-front last year to really get ahead of the leakage challenge, and it’s been hugely successful. That performance has added just over 2p per month to the average household bill, which customers told us was excellent value for money for the improvements we could deliver. We believe leading the industry on cutting leakage is the right thing to do and we’re determined to go one step better every time. It’s what our customers told us they wanted, and it’s the right thing for the environment, increasing this region’s resilience to dry spells and drought, and managing this precious resource.

Almost half a billion pounds of investment: next year 540 billion litres of water will be treated and supplied to customers, before being used and then treated and safely returned to the environment. It’s a vast operation that costs around half a million pounds per day to run. It’s also a huge contribution to the economy, creating or securing thousands of jobs each year. Some of the schemes over the next 12 months will include:

  • £17million to keep leakage levels at industry-leading lows. By 2020 Anglian will have invested an additional £60million in a war on leakage, bringing the five-year total spent on fighting leaks to a colossal £128million.
  • £35million at Heigham Water Treatment works in Norwich to protect the environment along the River Wensum and secure supplies for the growing city of Norwich.
  • £50million improving, maintaining and refurbishing hundreds of water treatment works and water recycling centres across our vast estate.
  • £48million maintaining, refurbishing and renewing parts of the 37,000km water pipe network.
  • £36million maintaining, refurbishing and replacing parts of the 70,000km sewer network. £3million of which will be used to survey and cleverly refurbish kilometres of sewers in places like Southend, Ipswich, Beccles, Caister, Runton and Long Bennington.
  • £18million to extend and upgrade our water recycling centres to accommodate the growing population in our region.
  • £16million to replace 14km of water pipe in the Belstead area of Ipswich
  • £15million keeping sewers clear of fatbergs and wipes. We’ll clear 43,000 sewer blockages – that’s one every 15 minutes – most of which are caused by people putting the wrong things down the loo and sink.
  • £8million to connect hundreds more rural homes to the mains sewerage network for the first time, totalling £70million by 2020.
  • Around £10million to adopt and refurbish private pumping stations that are now the water company’s responsibility. Customers will be free of them, meaning reduced energy costs and a reduced the risk of flooding or pollution as they will be properly maintained by us going forwards.
  • £8million to reduce flooding from sewers as part of a £45million focus that will protect hundreds of properties from flooding by 2020. £1.5million will be put up for match funding to get more partner flood schemes off the ground too.
  • £1.5million to ensure our treatment facilities meets the highest standards and keeps our local rivers and watercourses in excellent health.
  • £1million to inspect, clean and maintain our water towers to keep them in tip-top condition for storing drinking water.
  • £1million to inspect, clean and maintain our water towers to keep them in tip-top condition for storing drinking water.
  • £1million will be invested in innovation over the next two years to create the water network of the future. The initiative will centre on Newmarket, and will become Anglian Water’s ‘Shop Window’ for pioneering new technology before rolling it out to the wider region.
  • £1.3million to protect the region’s coastal waters by investigating sources of agricultural and urban pollution, and to work with the farming community to protect the rivers and boreholes that provide raw drinking water. We’re also extending our BeachCare and RiverCare initiatives to cover more miles of coastline and rivers than ever before.
  • Millions of pounds will be spent fitting free water meters, replacing old ones, and offering free water saving devices to help customers become more water efficient.
  • Millions of pounds will be spent on the ‘nuts and bolts’ of our operations. For instance, every year we repair and replace more than 3,000 manhole covers alone, and half a million pounds each day is spent keeping the network running and operating as it should.

Caring for local communities and future generations: water is central to our way of life. Without freshwater there’d be no swimming pools, no hospitals, no restaurants, and no beer – it takes 148 litres of water to produce just a single pint of the good stuff. As well as supporting essential businesses and agriculture, Anglian Water cares about ensuring our region is a fantastic, thriving place to live and work. Here are some of things you might not expect Anglian Water to be doing:

  • 24,000 children will enjoy learning about the water cycle, efficiency and climate change in local schools across our region as well as at our two education centres which both turn 10 years old this year. In total more than 200,000 children have come through the doors to learn about water over the last decade.
  • Hundreds more children will enjoy Mad Science shows that explain the problem with wipes and fats being put down the drain
  • 150 students will earn qualifications in engineering and construction at the Anglian Water-sponsored school, the Greater Peterborough University Technical College.
  • Using ‘Poo Power’, our Water Recycling Centres will generate enough clean energy next year to fuel 40,000 homes
  • We’ll protect important habitats and species at 47 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in our region, covering nearly 3,000 hectares, or 4,120 football pitches, of land. These include Water Voles, Nightingales, which are breeding at some of water parks and form part of a five year research project, and Ospreys.
  • Two million visitors will enjoy our award-winning water parks and recreation sites over the year, including the hugely popular Aquapark and Beach at Rutland Water. More than 500 keen anglers hold season tickets, and hundreds of people will get married at iconic Anglian Water sites like Normanton Church on the banks of Rutland.
  • Anglian Water employees will volunteer thousands of man hours to charities close to their hearts

Supporting people in vulnerable circumstances: every year Anglian Water commits £1million to help vulnerable customers facing financial hardship. On top of this the company is continuing its successful social tariff – LITE – which is already helping thousands of customers on low incomes to save up to 80% on their bill. The average saving for a customer on LITE is £212 per year.

Free water meters and gadgets to save water and money: in this East of England, 85 per cent of homes now have a meter. They are still the best way to save money and Anglian Water’s free water saving devices are as popular as ever. They company also now offers a free home visit from a qualified plumber who’ll fit the free water saving gadgets and give customers helpful water saving tips.

Giving customers their say on water: Anglian Water’s five year Business Plan 2015-2020 was shaped by 50,000 customers who provided input to the detail as part of the water company’s biggest ever public consultation. Later this year Anglian Water will be asking customers to have their say again – asking customers what matters most to them and how they want their bill money to be spent in the five years from 2020 to 2025.

More information, including details of support available for those who struggle to pay their bill, is available here or here.


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