Over the last year, we’ve moved our business forward with a firm focus on delivering excellent customer service, with millions saved for our UK business customers and significant investment in our service platforms and online customer portal. We've demonstrated our commitment to doing what we can to reduce our carbon footprint by moving to carbon neutral printing and paperless billing. We’ve played an active role in our local community, supporting local schools and charity events, and promoted the education and development of young people with our apprenticeship and intern programs.
The award was announced as part of Save the Children’s annual partnership awards, and presented by Save the Children CEO Kevin Watkins and Save the Children Ambassador Natasha Kaplinsky.
The bears provided a wellbeing aid to the children, helping them with the transition back to school following the extended period of lockdown and distanced learning from home. Our CEO John Reynolds said, “It’s a fantastic initiative and we’re so pleased to be a part of a project that supports the wellbeing of young people in education. The employment and the education of young people is an important focus at Castle Water.”
Castle Water launched its Apprenticeship Program in August 2018. Claire Easy, HR Director for Castle Water said, “We are very excited to be offering 30 Modern Apprenticeships at Castle Water. In our experience, hiring Apprentices has been a valuable way of expanding and upskilling our workforce. Investing time, resources and training into our Apprenticeships is a productive and effective way of growing talent, and of developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce who have a thorough knowledge of the company and our internal processes.”
Impressively, 95% of Castle Water’s Apprentices remain in the business post-qualification. The latest cohort of Apprentices started in September 2020, 4 of whom have already completed their qualification and have been offered permanent contracts with Castle Water.
We released a number of new features to our customer portal, MyAccount, in the last year, including Statement of Accounts, Find my water meter. The updates were part of a long-term strategy to expand online self-service options to make it easier for our customers to manage their accounts.
We announced that we were carbon balancing our printing operation to combat our carbon emissions footprint, and were set to balance more than 18,000kg of carbon emissions for 2021, the equivalent of taking 15 cars off the road for an entire year.
We installed the first electric vehicle charging points at our Head Office carpark in Blairgowrie, Scotland, providing staff with electric vehicles the convenience of charging up during office hours.
We were proud to once again support and sponsor The Cateran Yomp at their 10th anniversary fund-raising event, by helping to keep participants, volunteers and employees refreshed and hydrated, all while reducing unnecessary single-use plastic waste. We stationed 6 Water Stops for the main event: four located at the main hub in Blairgowrie and two along the route – which takes the teams through some of the most remote and hidden areas of Scotland. Participants were able to fill their reusable water bottles at one of the 1-gallon Water Stops, minimising the amount of single-use plastic waste.
The Cateran Yomp is an annual event in aid of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and exists to raise vital funds to support soldiers, veterans, and their families.
Castle Water won the Customer Service Excellence Award at the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business Star Awards. The awards recognised the excellent work and achievements of businesses in Perthshire. The award was merited on our commitment to deliver customer service without compromise. In the face of the pandemic, the water supplier stopped charging many of its business water customers for the lockdown, saving its customers over £6 million.
Castle Water earned its 10,000th 5-star customer review on Trustpilot. Castle Water has long held the title of the most reviewed UK water supplier on Trustpilot, and has more 5-star reviews on the platform than all other water suppliers combined. Customer reviews on Trustpilot during this time demonstrated how Castle Water delivered timely, patient, and empathetic customer service to its customers during a very trying time for their businesses.
The successfully completed roll-out to Scotland customers means that MyAccount is now available to all Castle Water customers.
John Reynolds said of the achievement, “This is a significant milestone for Castle Water and for our customers. The roll-out of MyAccount to this final group of customers in Scotland is part of our long-term commitment to expand our online self-service options to give customers more ways to manage their account. There are great benefits to customers in using MyAccount, including access to information about how their business is using water. This information is valuable to businesses looking to better understand its water use to become more sustainable and reduce costs.”
Castle Water completed an ambitious project to install 4.500 Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) devices free of charge for eligible customers by 2022, saving customers over £2.67 million in installation costs, and up to £9 million per year in potential leakage costs.
Representing Castle Water, and raising money for the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH), was Team Castle Water. Overall, 18 teams from businesses across Tayside, Angus and Perthshire donned their kits to take part in the event and raise money for worthwhile causes.
In the lead up to the event, Castle Water employee's donated generously in support of Team Castle Water and SAMH, raising £470 for the charity. Overall, the Business Fives Tayside event raised over £10,000 for various local charities.
We're rolling out paperless billing, also known as e-billing to customers in England and Scotland, to make billing faster and easier. In March, we auto-enrolled thousands of eligible customers in Scotland to paperless billing. Customers not eligible for auto-enrollment were invited to opt-in to paperless billing online. The roll-out has proved successful, with 90% of Castle Water customers in Scotland now on paperless billing.
David Bain, Director of Digital and Marketing for Castle Water said, "Like many of our customers, we’ve been making changes to become more sustainable and minimise our impact on the environment. Paperless billing gives our customers a fast, reliable and eco-friendly way of billing, that removes the delays often associated with postal delivery.
Castle Water customers in England and Scotland can already choose to opt-in to paperless billing on the 'Premises' tab on MyAccount.
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