WELSH WATER is encouraging customers who are struggling to pay their water bills to contact the company to discuss what support may be available to them.
The company already helps over 130,000 customers to pay their bills.
It offers a range of financial support to those who need it most and this has become more important due to the increasing cost of living and the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The company has confirmed that most of its household customers will see an increase in their typical water and wastewater bills of between 3.8% and 6.6% from next April.
This is due to the significant increase in the rate of inflation, in particular the rising costs of power, chemicals and the materials needed to produce drinking water and treat wastewater.
The “Average household bill” will increase by 0.1%, however, this figure includes social tariffs which are heavily discounted and therefore different to the typical increase most customers will see.
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is the only not-for-profit water company in England and Wales, and supplies services to over 3 million people in Wales and some adjoining parts of Herefordshire and Deeside.
The company’s not for profit model has made it possible to earmark £12.4 million in 2022/23 to help up to 54,000 additional eligible customers.
Welsh Water is urging customers who may be facing difficulties to contact the company as soon as possible.
This will allow customers to discuss the range of available options including flexible payment schemes or installing a water meter which would benefit households as they reduce their use of water.
Welsh Water’s Chief Financial Officer, Mike Davis, said: “The cost of many supplies which are essential to our business has increased significantly over the past 12 months.
“Such increases are being witnessed across all sectors and we are not immune to these pressures. However, we’re working as hard as we can to limit the impact on our customers and keep increases as low as possible.
“This is why we are making support available for an extra 54,000 vulnerable customers, in addition to the 130,000 who already benefit from the different ways we help customers to pay their bills.
“We would encourage all customers who are struggling to make ends meet at this difficult time to contact us to see what support we can provide.
“We also ask all customers to think about their water usage and to contact us if they believe that they could benefit from being on a water meter.
“We install these meters free of charge and have a calculator on our website to help customers understand what their bills could be if they switched to a meter.
“Whilst they can also be removed without charge within two years, they often help some customers to manage their water usage and potentially save money, while also saving water and protecting the environment.”
Rhodri Williams, Wales Chair for the Consumer Council for Water (CCW), said: “Households are facing a wave of rising living costs so it’s vital that customers ask for help now so they can access any untapped support from Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water.
“Some households can potentially save hundreds of pounds by switching to a water meter, while others on a low income may be eligible for significantly reduced bills. Simple steps to reduce our hot water use can also take some of the heat out of rising energy costs.”
The Burry Port Harbour Improvement wins top civil engineering award
THE BURRY Port Harbour Improvement has been announced as the winner of the Bill Ward Sustainability Award at the recent ICE Wales Cymru Project Awards held on Friday (30 September) at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff.
The Bill Ward Award is presented to the project best demonstrating the principles of sustainability, i.e. social, economic and environmental benefits during delivery and on completion. The Judges were impressed with the way two major companies, Alun Griffiths and Atkins, worked hand in hand on the project with their client, Carmarthenshire County Council, to deliver the scheme to a fixed budget, within programme and to the complete satisfaction of historic port custodians Cadw.
Burry Port Harbour is made up of three historic (tidal) basins contained by vertical masonry walls and earth embankments. The 3 harbours comprise 1500m of masonry vertical walls and revetments, which had fallen into disrepair and collapse since its heyday transporting coal in the 1800’s.
The project is an ongoing, phased renovation with attention being given first to areas of instability. Displaced masonry has been recovered from the floor of the harbour and re-used. New materials have been chosen with care to ensure they are appropriate and will fit into the historic marine.
The work has safeguarded the historic masonry fabric for future generations, provided a safe harbour for the marina vessels and provided the waterside frontage for the Council’s vision to transform the harbour into a dynamic living, leisure and work hub for future generations.
Welsh Waters in call for improvement following increase in pollution incidents
NATURAL RESOURCES WALES (NRW) is calling for Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water to “step up and take action” after its annual environmental performance reports for water companies highlighted an increase in pollution incidents.
NRW also found a decrease in compliance with environmental permits for sewage discharges.
The deterioration in performance by Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water has led to the company being downgraded from four-star – industry leading – company status last year to three-star (good company) under 2021 Environmental Performance Assessment metrics (EPA).
The report reveals that 83 sewage-related pollution incidents were caused by Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water assets last year, compared to 77 the previous year.
Two of these pollution incidents were categorised as having a serious (High) environmental impact.
There was also one serious (High) incident from a water supply asset.
It also shows that numeric compliance against permitted discharges dropped from 99.7% to 98.3% and self-reporting of incidents dropped from 80% to 76%.
Expectations for improvements are outlined in the reports, including targets to reduce the number of pollution incidents year on year, aiming towards zero.
The report said the although the total sewage pollution incidents metric remained green, in 2021 “there has been an increase of six incidents -from 77 in 2020 to 83 in 2021. ”
“It is disappointing Dŵr Cymru have not sustained their improvement in this metric from last year”
The NRW performance report states: “The overall performance for water supply incidents is unacceptable.”
“We are calling for urgent action from Dŵr Cymru after 2021 saw the sixth consecutive year where the number of incidents from water supply assets increased.”
“We welcome the inclusion of serious incidents from water supply assets in the serious pollution incidents EPA metric from 2021 to bring more focus on this area of performance.”
Ceri Davies, NRW’s Executive Director for Evidence, Policy and Permitting said:
“Water companies have a responsibility to the environment, as well as their customers, and they must take these incidents – and the impact they have on our water quality – seriously.”
“Over many years water companies in Wales have invested significantly and improved their environmental performance so we are challenging their recent performance and asking them to set the standard for the water sector by attaining industry leading status, whilst also showing leadership in responding to the biodiversity and climate crises.”
“The decline in environmental performance is disappointing and we expect them to respond positively with renewed effort, and to drive forward improvements.”
“Earlier this week, we published our storm overflow roadmap, in collaboration with the water sector and Welsh Government, which outlines an action plan of commitments from all those involved to reduce the impact of storm overflows on our rivers in Wales.”
“This sits amongst a number of initiatives across other sectors including rural land use and industry, to tackle the numerous threats facing our rivers.”
“Improving water quality for the long term requires a collective effort from all involved, working together to identify catchment-scale solutions to contribute to healthy rivers.”
Welsh Water has not commented as yet on the report.
M&S opticians opens its doors in Llanelli Parc Trostre
MARKS & SPENCER has opened the newest branch of its M&S Opticians service, located in the retailer’s popular Llanelli store.
M&S Llanelli Parc Trostre will offer customers an expert opticians service, which includes a full eye health examination (OCT scan) for every eye test booked at no additional fee.
Free eye tests are available as an opening offer, as well as 15% off glasses and sunglasses for Sparks customers. There’s a wide range of designer brands to choose from including Mulberry, Prada, Joules, Kate Spade, Oakley, Police, Maui Jim along with leading lens manufacturers – Zeiss and Nikon.
Expert advice on contact lens fitting and wearing is also on hand, alongside a contact lens home delivery option. The store will also be home to a hearing aid audiologist who will be offering free hearing health checks along with latest hearing aid technology, including rechargeable models and mobile connectivity.
M&S Llanelli Parc Trostre is the second optician service to open in Wales following a successful trial across ten UK cities, during which the service received a customer satisfaction rate of 96% and a customer recommendation rate of 96%.
M&S Llanelli Parc Trostre Store Manager, Aled Bonnell, said: “We’re always looking for ways to make shopping at M&S even more rewarding and feedback from our trial showed that customers loved the convenience of having an Opticians service in our store. We’re really excited to be opening our M&S Opticians in Llanelli and hearing what our customers think. The choice of different brands we’re offering is second to none and we have brilliant opening offers to suit all budgets.”
News6 days ago
Road closed after man suffers serious injury in Burry Port
News4 days ago
Detectives ask for help following an assault outside a Llanelli bar
News4 days ago
Prince and Princess of Wales to visit Wales
Sport1 week ago
WRU Cup round up: Wins for Llangennech, Pontyberem and Nantgaredig
News1 week ago
Kwarteng gambles on rush for growth
Sport1 week ago
Scarlets denied victory by late Ospreys try
Sport5 days ago
Reds extend unbeaten run to nine matches
News2 weeks ago
Arrangements for the Funeral of Her Majesty The Queen