Chief Executive Peter Simpson commented:
“These results demonstrate a company committed to delivering in the public interest, driving long-term environmental prosperity and rooted in the communities we serve.
“We’ve seen success in many key areas – delivering Anglian Water’s best-ever performance on our world-class leakage reduction programme, accelerating our £800 million environmental programme right across our region by delivering a cumulative 1,184 schemes since 2020, surpassing our carbon targets and providing £32 million of targeted affordability support for customers facing the cost of living crisis. With almost 325,000 customers helped this year alone, we’ve ringfenced £65 million for 2022/23 and a total of £232 million of affordability support for 2020-2025.
“In our biggest ever single year of capital expenditure, we’ve invested £577.7 million into programmes that will increase our resilience to drought and flood, and support growth, while safeguarding and enhancing the environment. The schemes we are delivering, including the most ambitious smart metering programme in the industry, the creation of a cutting-edge smart water network, and a multitude of abstraction reduction programmes, have enabled us to make sector-leading reductions in the amount of water we take from the environment, protecting precious chalk streams and rivers.
“As part of that investment, we are well underway with delivery of our ground-breaking strategic pipeline - our biggest ever infrastructure programme – to move water around our region to where it’s needed most.
“Amid the successes, it’s been a year of very real challenges. Some of these were universal, including supply chain issues and the ongoing pandemic, but the most notable for us were the knock-on impacts of prolonged flooding in the East of England over the first three months of 2021. Prioritising our customers’ vital services and redeploying resources during that period held back some elements of operational performance in the year that followed. We’ve taken decisive steps to correct our course, which are already delivering positive results.
“The dedication of all my colleagues, day after day, week after week, through this difficult year, has been a stand-out positive. We were particularly thrilled to be awarded Utility of the Year 2021 by Utility Week, our sector’s highest accolade – a welcome and timely reminder that this is a purpose-driven company with a reputation for excellence.
“As we head into the third year of AMP7 (2020-2025) I remain confident that our long-term trajectory is a positive one.”
· Largest ever single year programme of capital investment completed on schedule: £577.7 million invested in the East of England in 2021/22 (31 March 2021: £447.0 million), including £109 million in abstraction reduction to protect chalk streams and rivers; £68.1 million for climate resilience schemes and £63.1 million to address population growth.
· Accelerated £800 million environmental programme delivery well ahead of schedule: cumulative total of 1,184 schemes delivered since 2020, including investment in storm tanks, event duration monitors and bathing water quality. As part of the programme we are today announcing the UK’s largest ever programme of new wetlands. More than 25 new natural treatment wetlands modelled on award-winning Ingoldisthorpe blueprint will curb the impact of phosphates and nitrates and further improve biodiversity across the region; creation of first three planned to begin early 2023.
· £32 million of tailored support in 2021/22 to customers facing affordability challenges: 324,750 people supported this year and unprecedented £65 million package of support set aside for customers in 2022/23 as the cost of living crisis bites. Our total AMP package extends to £232 million as we seek to fulfil our aim of no customers being in water poverty.
· Net zero carbon programme ahead of schedule: industry-leading 2030 net zero routemap published as company leads the water sector at COP26.
· Challenging year for performance against regulatory commitments resulting in net ODI penalty: Majority on track or ahead of target, including environmental programme delivery, leakage and mains repairs, but targets not met for some key measures including pollutions, flooding and mains bursts, leading to an overall forecast net penalty for 2021/22 of circa £8 million. Across the AMP to date we remain in a net positive position, and anticipate returning to net reward in 2022/23.
· Flow to full treatment: Ofwat and the Environment Agency launched industry-wide investigations in 2021 into compliance with conditions of environmental permits. While the final outcome of these investigations isn’t yet known, we have provided comprehensive information to both regulators and continue to engage positively with them.
· Company financial restructure completed: shareholder injection of more than £1 billion into Anglian Water, reducing gearing to 65 per cent (31 March 2021: 82 per cent).