Not-for-profit water company to help lowest-earning households by reducing bills

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The only not-for-profit water company in England and Wales is to invest millions of pounds to help customers struggling with bills, restoring reservoirs and improving services.

Welsh Water said it had consulted more than 12,000 of its customers on where to spend an extra £34 million.

The company reported an underlying loss of £36 million for the past year taking into account higher interest rate costs and increased investment in its infrastructure.

Average bills remained below inflation for the eighth year in a row, while its operating costs increased by £16 million to £313 million because of higher business rates and contractor costs.

The customer consultation showed support for community projects, funding for social tariffs and keeping bills as low as possible.

Chairman Alastair Lyons said: "As a company that exists solely to serve our customers we try constantly to drive improvements in the service we provide in order to meet customers' expectations by delivering the best possible service at the best possible value.

"Our not-for-shareholder ownership model enables us to reinvest the profit we make into the business focused exclusively on what is in the best interest of customers.

"Derived from a strong performance over the year, it is pleasing to see the dividend our model is delivering for our customers rather than being paid away to shareholders."

Over the next year, £5 million will be spent to support the lowest-earning households by charging them lower bills, £10 million extra for major replacement of ageing parts of the drinking water pipe network, more than £5 million extra investment in visitor centres and recreational facilities, and £3.5 million extra to reduce the 2,000 blockages a month in the sewer network.