Severn Trent to invest a record £12.9bn to transform service, create 7,000 jobs and provide £550m financial support for customers
Monday 2nd October 2023
Severn Trent has today announced it is investing £12.9 billion in its water and sewage network, as part of ambitious plans submitted to water regulator Ofwat, whilst keeping bills affordable and good value for customers.
The multibillion-pound programme is set to create 7,000 new jobs between 2025 and 2030, which will have a positive lasting impact for decades to come. It also means that for every household, Severn Trent will invest £2,400 back into the region, transforming the way more than four million customers are served across the Midlands.
The major announcement comes after 68,000 customers helped to shape the plan so that it delivers the outcomes its customers care about most - it will guarantee a secure water supply for generations to come; storm overflows will cause no harm to rivers and customers will receive sector leading service, with a promise that customers won’t pay for anything twice.
Investment in the water system is essential to ensure the security of water supply in the future and will deliver significant improvements in the region’s water and sewerage system. The plan is underpinned by a £550m financial support package, which means financial support for around 700,000 people to help pay their bill - more customers than ever before - and around one in seven customers in the region. We understand this support is the most extensive in the water industry, from the information we had at the time we submitted our plan, and the numbers supported exceeds those we forecast to be in water poverty by 2030.
Liv Garfield, CEO at Severn Trent, unveiled the £12.9bn investment plans and said: “By 2030 we will have transformed our network to continue to provide our customers with the best service that can be relied on. At the heart of this ambition is a commitment to ensure a sustainable future – from healthy rivers, to providing jobs of thousands, less leaks and a water supply to deal with the impacts of climate change and population growth whilst making sure that no customer ever worries about affording their water bill.
“We’ve listened hard to our customers; not only will we make sure we keep building on our strong sector leading track record, but we’ll be more than a water company. This investment will make sure we have a positive economic, environmental and social impact for decades to come for the communities we serve.’’
Highlights of the 2,000-page plan include:
· To help with climate change and population growth – which is set to grow by 12% to nine million in the Midlands by 2050 - Severn Trent will lay new water mains almost the length of Lands End to John O’Groats twice over and provide an extra 100 million litres a day from new water sources.
· Severn Trent has already reduced its impact on waterways by a third in the last year alone and today’s announcement confirms a further almost £7 billion investment in its wastewater treatment, including plans to go faster to improve storm overflows – three a week, every week and means spills will be stopped five years ahead of Government targets. More River Rangers will also be recruited to continue to improve the health of waterways and to boost biodiversity
Severn Trent has the second lowest bill in England and Wales - £29 below national average, and this plan will make sure that bills continue to be affordable and offer the best value. From an average of £1.15 a day today, to £1.42 a day by 2030, people will receive a high quality and reliable clean water and wastewater service that customers can count on, and new record levels of investment where it is wanted – doing the right thing for the environment and society. For context, water bills are today the equivalent 1.2% of disposable income, increasing to 1.3% by 2030.
The plan builds on Severn Trent’s strong track record of delivering large scale investment projects, as well as being recognised for the fourth year running, with highest four-star rating for environmental performance by the Environment Agency and recognised by Ofwat as being sector leading for financial resilience in a region where there hasn't been a hosepipe ban for 30 years.
The £12.9 billion investment will create up to 7,000 jobs in the water company’s extensive supply chain and directly in the business and will also enable thousands of new work experience placements, apprenticeships and internships.
The plans submitted today to Ofwat will now be reviewed, and final business plans for 2025-2030 will be confirmed in April 2024.
Full details of the plan can be found at: www.stwater.co.uk/about-us/our-plans-2025-2030