Water companies to return £114m to customers for under-performance

Bristol Water

A string of water companies in England and Wales, which includes Bristol Water, have been ordered to return £114m to customers through lower bills next year for missing key targets.

In its annual water company performance report, the regulator, Ofwat, said the majority of water and wastewater companies were underperforming ontargets set for 2020-25 to deliver better outcomes, for customers and the environment.

Companies are judged against metrics including pollution incidents, customer service and leakage.

This year, no company has been ranked in the “leading” category, 10 companies are in the “average” category, while seven are “lagging” – Anglian Water, Dŵr Cymru, Southern Water, Thames Water, Yorkshire Water, Bristol Water and South East Water.

David Black, Ofwat CEO said: “The targets we set for companies were designed to be stretching – to drive improvements for customers and the environment. However, our latest report shows they are falling short, leading to £114m being returned to customers through bill reductions. While that may be welcome to billpayers, it is very disappointing news for all who want to see the sector do better.

“It is not going to be easy for companies to regain public trust, but they have to start with better service for customers and the environment. We will continue to use all our powers to ensure the sector delivers better value.”

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