Thames Water has overwhelming customer support for its strengthened business plan for 2020-2025, which commits to deliver more for its customers and the environment at a reduced cost.
The company’s enhanced plan was today submitted to water industry regulator Ofwat as part of the ongoing price review process. It is based on feedback from more than one million customers and includes a tough new pledge on efficiency, fewer pollutions and water supply interruptions, and a reduction in customer bills. Customers strongly back this plan, with 87 per cent acceptability for the revised package – up from 67 per cent for the original plan.
Thames Water first published its five-year business plan in September 2018 and received initial feedback from Ofwat in January. Highlights in the revised version include new commitments to:
- Reduce combined bills by 1.3% or an average of £5 before inflation by 2025 (from flat bills)
- Reduce pollutions by 30% (from 18%)
- Reduce water supply interruptions by 20% (from 6%)
- Reduce sewer flooding in homes and businesses by 20% (from 15%)
- Increase base cost efficiency by 22.5% per customer (from 13.6%)
- Reduce the overall budget for the five year period from £11.7bn to £10.9bn
Steve Robertson, Thames Water chief executive, said: “We remain committed to the principles which underpinned our plan in September, doing the right thing for customers and the environment amid population growth and climate change. We’ve also listened to more valuable feedback from our customers, stakeholders and regulators and stretched our performance and efficiency targets to produce an even better plan.
“The vast majority of this feedback has reinforced our view that further cuts would prevent us from delivering the major investment our customers demand. This is a transformative moment for Thames Water and our significant investment will help boost employment and regional economic growth and ensure London and the Thames Valley has the high-quality waste and water networks its residents rightly expect.”
Having agreed to not take any dividend during a three-year period leading up to 2020, Thames Water’s shareholders remain committed to prioritising service improvement over returns, with a clear de-gearing strategy continuing within the enhanced plan.
As part of today’s business plan submission, Thames Water has also included an update to its 80-year Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP) after further public consultation. This explains how the company will provide protection from severe drought through ambitious leakage and demand reduction programmes, and development of new resources, including the construction of a reservoir in Oxfordshire and the transfer of water from wetter regions of the country.
To read more about the plan click here.