Ofwat investigates South East Water’s supply system

The move follows a meeting where the company’s Board explained its performance, categorised as ‘lagging behind’ in Ofwat’s latest report

Ofwat has launched an enforcement case against South East Water, aiming to investigate whether the company has failed in developing and maintaining an efficient water supply system.

This decision comes after the water regulator summoned the Board of South East Water to clarify its performance over the past 18 months.

In the recent Water Company Performance Report, Ofwat categorised South East Water as ‘lagging behind’ and mandated the publication of a service commitment plan by the end of November to address various areas of underperformance, including supply interruptions.

South East Water currently holds the lowest ranking for water supply interruptions in England and Wales.

In the 2022-23 period, the average duration of interruptions per property was three hours, two minutes and 21 seconds, significantly exceeding its performance commitment level of five minutes and 45 seconds.

David Black, Ofwat Chief Executive Officer, said: “Providing reliable water supplies is at the heart of a water company’s responsibilities. Too many customers have been failed too often by South East Water. That’s why we are now carrying out a thorough investigation into the company and its service to customers.

“We are clear that water companies must do more to regain public trust and it must start with better service. Where this does not happen, we will use all of our powers to ensure the sector delivers better value for both customers and the environment.”

A South East Water spokesperson told Energy Live News: “We acknowledge the decision by Ofwat to open this investigation.

“Resilience forms a major focus for South East Water both now and as a significant part of our PR24 business plan which has been submitted to Ofwat. We intend to fully cooperate with Ofwat on this matter.”

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