Independent consumer watchdog CC Water report shows Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water leads water industry in England and Wales

Wales15-5-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water has today welcomed a report by the independent consumer watchdog, CC Water, which shows that the company is leading the water industry in England and Wales on a number of key performance indicators that matter most to customers.

CC Water’s report involves an annual assessment of customers views across England and Wales on their water and sewerage services. It reveals that Welsh Water, which is unique in the utility sector with its non-shareholder model, scores a record 96% customer satisfaction rate with its water services and 91% with its sewerage services – higher than the industry average.

Other key points from the report include:

  • Customer trust in the company is highest across the industry at 7.69 out of 10 (industry average: 7.27%)
  • 71% of customers agree the company cares about the service given to customers (industry average: 64%)
  • 91% of customers are satisfied with the way their queries were handled (industry average: 80%)

70% of Welsh Water’s customers also believe that water and sewerage charges are affordable which again is higher than the industry average (66%). This follows the company’s decision to keep its annual price increase below the rate of inflation for the fifth consecutive year in 2014/15 whilst it is also helping more customers than ever to pay their bills through a range of social tariffs. Welsh Water plans to double the number of customers currently benefiting from these tariffs by 2020 (2014: 60,000).

The report also notes that 52% of Welsh Water’s customers (compared to an industry average of 45%) were aware of the items (e.g. cotton buds, fats, oil, greases) that should not be disposed of down the toilet or drain. This follows the company’s successful three month ‘Let’s Stop the Block’ campaign in 2013 which involved working with domestic and business customers in Rhondda Cynon Taff and Caerphilly and which helped reduce sewer blockages in their communities by 30%.

The campaign has since been rolled out in Cardiff with more activity planned throughout 2014.

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water’s Chief Executive Chris Jones said: “With no shareholders, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is a unique way to run a public utility, where all gains go to the customer through lower bills or increased investment. We therefore welcome the general findings in the report published today by CC Water. It demonstrates that our operating model continues to deliver real value for the benefit of our customers, the communities we serve and the environment on which we depend.

“As a company owned on behalf of its customers, our sole focus is to do the right thing for them day in, day out. We will use the findings of this report to inform our work as we continue to ensure that provide the best possible service at the most affordable price.”

Diane McCrea, Chair of the Consumer Council for Water’s Wales Committee, said: “CCWater is pleased that customers of DCWW are benefiting from the work the company has been doing to improve its services over the past few years. We are pushing the company hard to address the areas where it still needs to improve. The work that CCWater has being doing within the company’s customer challenge group to deliver price proposals for the next five years that are affordable, and acceptable to customers, is so relevant and important.”

To view this report, visit the ‘How’s my water company doing’ section of www.ccwater.org.uk

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