Severn Trent reveals plans for lower bills, improved service, £6.6bn of investment and creation of community dividend
3rd September 2018
Water and waste company Severn Trent has announced its plans for the five years from 2020 to 2025, including plans for lower bills, billions of pounds of investment, new commitments to cut sewer flooding and leakage, more help for customers, and for a new community dividend.
Every five years, the company builds its plans based on customer feedback before sharing with sector regulator Ofwat, which it has done today.
The regulator will now consider the plan over the course of the next few months before coming back with potential revisions.
The main theme of the plan is service – doing even better in areas where we’re strong, and addressing those areas where we know we need to do better.
That means the main points in the plan are:
- Real reduction in bills of 5%, meaning bills remain the lowest average combined in England, as they have been since 2010;
- £6.6bn in investment over five years;
- Helping nearly 50% more customers who are struggling to pay their bills;
- 8% reduction in all sewer flooding;
- 15% reduction in leakage;
- Every primary school in the region will have the opportunity to receive a visit from innovative educational roadshow about water;
- Positive impact on the local environment, including improving up to 2,100km of the region’s rivers; and
- Community dividend given to local communities through volunteering, donations to the Severn Trent Trust Fund, and a new commitment to use 1% of company profits for community schemes.
Liv Garfield, Severn Trent Chief Executive, said: “We haven’t created our plan in isolation – we’ve carried out the biggest ever consultation with our customers and stakeholders to find out what really matters to them and have then produced this plan which we absolutely believe will improve our service and our legacy for future generations.
“That means that, at a time when prices are going up, our customers’ bills will be coming down, we’ll help more vulnerable customers than ever before, and we’ll invest billions of pounds to make our service even better.
“By doing this, and by improving the day-to-day service we offer even in those areas where we’re already sector leaders, we firmly believe our customers will be served better, our environment protected, and future generations educated about the importance of water as a precious resource.”
Other initiatives highlighted in the plans include improved efficiency, more options for customers (such as payment breaks), commitments over responses to low pressure complaints, and the creation of a £10m Technical Academy for the region. In addition, Severn Trent will look to and will help hundreds of schools which may have trace amounts of lead in their pipework.
We’ve undertaken our most in-depth and innovative insight programme with around 32,000 customers involved in research, 15,000 joining our online panel, and 1.9 million contacts analysed. In assessing the final package, customers gave the plan an 85% acceptability rating.
Full details of the plan can be found at stwater.co.uk/2020-2025plan.