Guernsey Water annual report heralds another successful year
Guernsey Water's newly-published 2016 annual report shows the States-owned utility had another successful year.
Good progress has already been made on delivering its business plan, launched in April 2016, which aims to achieve a number of outcomes for customers over the next 10 years.
"It was a year of change for Guernsey Water; it was also the year in which we began our capital restructure and agreed to move away from our save-to-spend financial model. That will, ultimately, bring long-term benefits for our customers and contribute to the States' financial objectives," general manager, Stephen Langlois, said.
Revenue in 2016 was £15.7 million (marginally down on 2015 due to a small reduction in customers' water usage). Also, a strategy for improving water quality, resilience and the efficiency of water treatment has reduced the value of Longue Hougue water treatment works, which has meant a slight operating deficit. However, returns on investments made by States Treasury, using cash that they hold for Guernsey Water, meant that an annual surplus of £0.7 million was still achieved.
There was a slight increase of 2% in operating expenses due to restructuring costs. Mr Langlois said: "to implement our business plan we needed to make some organisational changes. This meant a period of uncertainty and change for everyone at Guernsey Water, but their professionalism and commitment to our customers was unwavering throughout and I thank them for working with us to make these changes."
Guernsey Water invested £4.8 million in improving and maintaining infrastructure and good progress was made with its planning for the refurbishment of Juas water treatment works, an important part of its water treatment strategy. The utility also continues to rehabilitate its sewers, cesspit emptying points, wastewater pumping stations and for customers at greatest risk, has helped protect their property from sewer flooding.
Guernsey Water's strong financial performance in recent years enabled a one-off return to the States of £1.5 million from its property reserve last year. "This return was built up over time from property sales and rentals; it did not include any funding from water customers' bills," Mr Langlois said.
"Looking ahead the cash we hold with Treasury will be added to a proportion of longer term debt through the States bond, and used to fund the Belle Greve sea outfalls." Since the annual report was finalised this has now been completed.
"We are extremely happy with the position we are now in and will continue working hard to deliver our business plan and its outcomes for customers. This will help us achieve our vision of customers always valuing the quality of our drinking water and the safe return of the island's wastewater to the environment."