Welsh Water spent €12m in contrast to Irish Water’s expected €80m

The not-for-profit utility service uses their financial surplus to reduce customer bills across Wales


Welsh Water utility services have said the agency spent about €12 million in setting up – in contrast to Irish Water’s predicted €80 million costs.

The agency supplies drinking water to 1.4 million business and houses across Wales, similar to Ireland’s 1.6 million households.

This morning on Newstalk, Welsh Water chief operating officer Peter Perry said the company mainly used people already involved in the industry, or had spent many years as consultants.

“It’s probably a bit wrong really to make those comparisons (with Ireland). We did have an existing business, it wasn’t as if we were starting from scratch,” he said.

Documents drawn up for an Oireachtas committee meeting last year said the decision to establish Irish Water as a subsidiary of Bord Gáis Group would allow the agency to benefit from the skills and experiences of the public utility.

Mr Perry said their not-for-profit utility services was unique with an additional governing body of 18 members.

He said the members, who range from environmentalists, specialists and people concerned about affordable bills for customers, were from across the country.

“They have to ability to, if not performing effectively, they can change the board. Any financial surplus (from the utility service) is either used to reduce customer bills or re-invest in our infrastructure.”

Mr Perry said it was key to have the right people in place when establishing a new structure. “The decisions you make today will have implications for future generations.”

Welsh Water also deals with sewage treatment works and boasts a customer satisfaction rating of more than 90 per cent.