Press Releases 2010

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WICS publishes its Annual Report for 2009-10

30 June 2010

The Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS) today launches its Annual Report outlining the regulator’s main activities in achieving best value for water and sewerage customers in Scotland.

The report highlights the remarkable transformation of the water industry over the past ten years, the cumulative effect of which is that average household bills are around £105 a year lower than they would otherwise have been. At the same time, customer service levels have improved markedly, leakage has been cut by around 36%, and more than £5.5 billion has been invested in maintaining current assets, and improving drinking water quality and environmental performance.

WICS announced its major review of prices for the period 2010-15 in November. Charges are being held at below inflation over the next five years, while customers will see marked improvements in service levels and in public health and environmental performance.

Sir Ian Byatt, Chairman of WICS said:

“At a time of economic uncertainly our review brought good news for customers, with charges being kept substantially below inflation for the next five years. The review also allowed for a sustainable future for the Scottish water industry, and finances an investment programme of £2.5 billion. This investment will maintain the assets, improve environmental and public health performance, and promote a greener water industry which will benefit Scotland for many years to come.”

The report explains that this year WICS has started early planning to ensure that the industry can respond to the challenges of the future, including carbon reduction targets, affordability and customer expectations. This is likely to involve simplifying the regulatory system and encouraging greater customer participation.

Alan Sutherland, Chief Executive of WICS, commented:

“In Scotland there has been a remarkable transformation of the water industry over the past ten years. We now have a company – operating successfully in the public sector – of which Scotland can be proud.

“Although regulation is delivering significant benefits to customers and the environment we are fully aware of the challenges facing the industry in the years ahead. Encouraging innovation and participation by customers will be key both to continuing to deliver good outcomes for customers and the environment, and to ensuring that charges remain affordable.”

To see the Annual Report in full, please click here.

ENDS

For more press information please contact: Duncan Mackenzie-Reid College Hill, 020 7457 2020 or on mobile 07807 239 764/07792 918 648  [email protected]
Katherine Russell, WICS’ Director of Corporate Affairs, 01786 430 200

Notes to editors:

1. WICS is the economic regulator of the Scottish water industry. It has a statutory duty to determine charge caps for Scottish Water based on the lowest overall reasonable cost of achieving the Scottish Government’s objectives for the water industry.

2. WICS published its Final Determination of charges from 2010 to 2014-15 in November 2009. Charges were set at five per cent below inflation between 2010 and 2015. The determination included a price freeze from April 2010 that is likely to continue into 2011.

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