Utility kept its head well above water in 2017
Guernsey Water has exceeded its savings and efficiency target of £300k for 2017 and its annual report reveals that the States utility is now considering how these savings can be shared with customers.
Despite ongoing cost pressures its financial performance in 2017 was strong and stable; a £428k reduction in operational costs helping to achieve a surplus of £387k.
Guernsey Water also reports that it was successful in delivering the second year of its business plan. It invested £4.5m on maintaining and improving its infrastructure. This includes major investment in the sewerage system in Vale Road, which enables more wastewater to be transferred to Belle Greve wastewater centre. This has reduced the risk of sewer flooding and sewer overflows, protecting homes and the environment from pollution in the north of the island.
Work began on the development of a surface water management strategy, which will ensure that customers are better protected from flooding, and that wastewater is safely returned to the environment well into the future. Guernsey Water is also on target to make further reductions in operational costs by bringing Juas water treatment works back on line later this year, after good progress was made with its refurbishment in 2017.
Drinking water quality standards remained high at 99.85 per cent. Customer satisfaction was also independently measured by the Customer Service Institute for the first time, at 79.5 per cent, this compared really well with a UK utilities sector average of 78.2 per cent.
Guernsey Water General Manager Steve Langlois said: "Guernsey Water is in excellent shape. Importantly for customers, in delivering the second year of our business plan we started to develop a culture of continuous improvement in our services. This means that things will continue getting even better for our customers in the future.
On average our metered customers spent just £1.15 per day on our water and wastewater services in 2017. Considering the complexity of our day-to-day operations and the amount of investment we make in our infrastructure every year, this is fantastic value for money. But the really good news for customers is that we are looking into whether we can share the savings we made last year with them by freezing their overall bills in 2019."
At the same time Guernsey Water is also looking into a serious imbalance between the income it receives from customers' wastewater charges and its expenditure on wastewater services. Currently the average metered customer spends just 28 pence per day on wastewater charges, yet it costs 63 pence per day to provide the wastewater service.
The opposite is true for water services, which cost less to provide at just 51 pence per day, yet the average metered customer spends 87 pence per day to receive this service.
Mr Langlois said: "We are considering how we address this imbalance, at the same time we will also be considering whether we can share the savings we made last year with our customers by freezing their overall bills next year".
A full copy of the Annual Report for 2017 can be viewed below