As part of Ofwat’s periodic review of prices, Anglian Water, the parent company of Hartlepool Water, today announced its final business plan for 2005-2010.
Future investment for Hartlepool has been proposed to improve services to customers, cater for growth and, most importantly, to ensure that the underlying infrastructure, particularly water mains, is properly maintained. We still need to invest around £7 million between 2005 – 2010 to maintain high service levels.
This figure strikes a balance between investment needs and the impact on bills and will let Hartlepool Water continue to provide extremely high standards at the best possible price to customers.
The company’s proposal is the latest stage in a price review process that happens every five years. As part of the process all interested parties, including customers, customers’ representatives, politicians, regulators and environmental organisations are invited to comment.
Priorities and benefits for customers
A high level of customer satisfaction is evident from various sources and we aim to maintain this between 2005 and 2010. However, as our treatment plants and pipelines age we need to upgrade or replace them to ensure we maintain high standards.
Hartlepool has seen a gradual increase in customers receiving their supplies through a water meter and we have an excellent record of controlling leakage from our pipes. This has helped us control demand for water even though we have seen steady growth in the number of properties served.
Our Plan represents the minimum investment and lowest price limits necessary to maintain services, comply with legal requirements, and deliver the high services, which we believe our customers want.
Hartlepool Water hopes to deliver a comprehensive investment programme whilst also seeking to minimise any increases in customer bills. For customers in Hartlepool this investment programme could result in average water bills rising by £32 over a five year period (from £91 in 2004/05 to £123 in 2009/10). This will mean that in 2010, a household would pay 34 pence, per day, for all water services.
Roy Pointer, Chief Executive said: “We have listened to our customers and want to continue to build on our successes. Hartlepool Water customers already benefit from excellent drinking water quality and a track record of excellent service levels.
“Our final business plan has been influenced by the feedback we have had from customers and stakeholders and, in trying to strike a balance between investment and the impact on bills, we have had to make some difficult choices. However, we believe we have found the balance that will help us to provide those high services which customers rightly expect into the future while keeping bills as low as possible. We want to ensure that customers still get good value for money.”
What happens now?
The submission of the final business plan is the next stage in a process that involves continued liaison with all stakeholders until Ofwat presents a draft price determination in August 2004 and its final determination in December 2004. New prices will then come into effect in April 2005.