Ofwat orders Thames Water and Southern Water to return £80m to customers

They will have to hand back the money for failing to reach targets on water treatment works compliance, pollution incidents and internal sewer flooding across 2021-22

Big Zero Report 2022

Ofwat has ordered Thames Water and Southern Water to return £80 million to customers after they missed key performance targets.

Thames Water will have to hand back more than £50 million and Southern Water almost £30 million for failing to reach targets on water treatment works compliance, pollution incidents and internal sewer flooding across 2021-22.

The announcement comes as the regulator confirms the financial penalties and payments for all water companies, with the majority having to return money to customers as a result of missed targets.

David Black, Ofwat Chief Executive said: “Too many water companies are failing to deliver for their customers. The poorest performers, Thames Water and Southern Water, are consistently falling beneath our expectations and those of their customers. They need to take immediate action to improve their performance and rebuild trust with the people they serve.

“We will continue to hold companies to account for their performance and we will make sure that they raise their game.”

Responses

Warren Buckley, Customer Experience Director at Thames Water said: “We can confirm that the financial penalties incurred will be refunded to customers. We’re determined to do better and while we’re heading in the right direction, we know there is a long way to go.”

A Southern Water spokesperson said: “As laid out in our annual report, we recognise that Southern Water has not always met expectations in recent years but are now in a position to deliver significant change for our customers and the environment.”

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