Anglian Water turns tap on £5bn investment plan
Anglian Water has turned on the tap to a £5 billion investment strategy to 2020 – including half a billion pounds for the coming financial year.
The company, which serves the burgeoning Cambridge UK science & technology business cluster, is prioritising investment in areas that customers said matter most to them.
Views were gathered during the company’s biggest ever public consultation, which shaped its overarching business plan to 2020.
These include a war on leakage, investment to ensure resilient water and water recycling services, to protect customers and the environment from severe weather such as drought and flooding; and commitments to tackle the impacts of climate change.
This year’s investment will be paid for by bills of just £1.12 per day, or £411 per year on average – which is still lower than they were three years ago following price cuts in 2015.
Customers who have use a water meter continue to pay even less, with the average bill at £378, or just over one pound per day.
Projects will be starting right across the region from now – delivered by Anglian Water and its supply chain partners. The partners only recover costs and earn profit when they outperform Anglian Water’s business plan objectives, which ensures the costs of running the business are kept as low as possible, which keeps customers bills down.
Projects over the next 12 months include:-
• £30m to keep leakage levels at industry-leading lows. This is part of a five year, £60m war on leakage through to 2020
• £24m maintaining, refurbishing and replacing parts of the 37,000km water pipe network
• £15m for jetting and cleaning our sewers to keep them clear of fatbergs and wipes
• £12m to connect hundreds more rural homes to the mains sewerage network for the first time, with more than £70m investment over the five years to 2020.
• Around £10m rising to £30m over the next three years to adopt and refurbish private pumping stations that will become our responsibility in 2017. It will mean reduced energy costs for those customers with one and reduce the risk of flooding or pollution.
• £8m will be invested to reduce flooding from sewers as part of a £45m focus on flooding that will protect hundreds of properties by 2020.
• £7m to survey and refurbish hundreds of kilometres of sewers in places like Southend, Lowestoft, Ipswich, Great Yarmouth and Beccles.
• £2.4million investment in sludge and Combined Heat and Power plants, like Colchester, Cambridge, Corby, Great Billing and King’s Lynn, to ensure that our renewable energy supplies are resilient and efficient.
• £1.3million to protect and improve the region’s coastline and coastal waters by tracing and investigating sources of pollution. We’re also extending our BeachCare and RiverCare programmes to cover more miles of coastline and waterways.
• £1million to match-fund flood schemes in collaboration with partner agencies, such as local authorities and the Environment Agency, who are also responsible for the drainage system. This money will get more flood prevention schemes off the ground and help to overcome the challenges of often complex ownership responsibilities across the wider drainage network.
Millions of pounds will be spent across Milton Keynes, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire to fit free water meters, replace old ones, and offer free water saving devices to help customers become more water efficient and remain in control of their bill.
The total committed over the year is near £1 bn – totalling £5bn between 2015 and 2020 – taking into account operating costs like wages for 4,000 employees.
A spokesperson for AW said: “It’s a huge contribution to the economy and for every £100m we invest we secure or create around 2,000 jobs in the region.”