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How are we doing?


In our 2015-20 business plan we committed to challenging targets themed under our customers' top priorities. The table below gives an update on how we are performing against our targets and compared with other water and sewerage companies in England and Wales.

You can see more information about how the water industry is doing across England and Wales on the discoverwater.co.uk website. Overall performance against water quality tests: 99.97% (industry average)South West Water is one of the leading companies for tackling leakage, with 5.5 cubic metres of leaks per kilometre of main compared with an industry average of 9.04 cubic metres per kilometre.

Also see: Annual reporting 2016 & DiscoverWater.co.uk

Delivery outcomeHow are we doing?

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Clean, safe and reliable supply of drinking water

Overall performance against water quality tests: 99.97% (industry average)

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Reliable wastewater service

Compliance of wastewater treatment works has improved to 98.5% in 2016 (numeric compliance).

We have invested £97.6million in our waste water infrastructure this year, an increase of 42% on 2015.

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Responsive to customers

Customer satisfaction overall is 89% - an all-time high - and on an improving trend.

Customer satisfaction with value for money is influenced by comparatively higher charges due to the historic costs of cleaning up bathing waters. The South West has proportionately more bathing waters and a small population.

Under Ofwat's Customer experience measure, we score 79/100 compared with an industry average of 82. Our score has steadily improved in recent years but there is more to do.

Customer complaints are at their lowest ever level and have dropped by more than one-third over the last five years and by nearly two-thirds over the last 10 years.

99.5% of customers use our services without feeling the need to complain. However, if we receive a complaint, we work very hard to resolve it as quickly as possible - we resolved over 96.96 per cent of the written complaints we received on first contact last year.

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Protecting the environment

In 2015, 98.6% of bathing waters in the South West Water region were rated excellent or good. Over 81% were rated excellent, compared with 69.5% nationally. No bathing water failed due to South West Water assets.

There were fewer category one and category two pollution incidents in 2016 compared with 2015 (down from seven Cat2 incidents to four Cat2 incidents) (as at 21/11/2016).

We are committed to improving our rating in the Environmental Performance Assessment through targeted investment, new service improvement teams, staff training and improved reporting.

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Available and sufficient resources

South West Water is one of the leading companies for tackling leakage, with 5.5 cubic metres of leaks per kilometre of main compared with an industry average of 9.04 cubic metres per kilometre

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Resilience in extreme conditions

2016 was the 20th consecutive summer with no restrictions on tap water like hosepipe bans. We achieve the maximum score on the Security of Supply Index (SoSI)

Our average customer consumption of 136.6 litres per day (per capita) is one of lowest in the industry and we support this through the promotion and installation of free meters (which generally encourage more efficient water use). In 2015-16, no customer's supply was interrupted due to flooding on our sites.

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Benefiting the community

We have an active Community Investment Programme structured in line with the Business in the Community (BitC) principles. Our education programme includes school talks and guest lecturers to work-experience placements and the provision of educational materials.

The company is a leading partner in the development of a new University Technical College (UTC) for South Devon which focuses on engineering, water and the environment and caters for up to 600 young people aged between 14 and 18.

South West Water's award-winning apprenticeship programme continued to grow in 2015/16.

Since 2011, 85 apprentices have been recruited across the company. South West Water was once again recognised in the prestigious Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list which is compiled annually by the National Apprenticeship Service.

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Fair charging

Our regulated business plan is based on customer priorities and their willingness to pay is tested through a robust consultation programme.

We are currently implementing our Price Promise which pegs our prices below inflation until 2020. Our average bill is now at its lowest level for seven years.

Customer satisfaction with value for money is 59% and improving. A recent comparison revealed that tap water can be 600 times cheaper than shop-bought bottled water.

Our WaterCare+ scheme offers advice on metering, tariffs and how to 'save water to save money'. The scheme also offers a 'benefit' check and in 2015-16 the average weekly benefit increase per customer was £44.

We were one of the first water companies to introduce a social tariff to help our very low income customers and to date c.4,000 customers are benefitting from a bill reduction of up to 50%.

The Freshstart fund which helps customers who are new to debt and find themselves in vulnerable circumstances, through bereavement, long-term illness or loss of a job has helped over 1,600 customers since it was introduced.

South West Water has recently been recognised and awarded a Business in the Community (BitC) South West Collaborative Action Award for tackling water poverty and supporting customers in vulnerable circumstances.




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