Customers from eleven water firms will enjoy rebates on their energy bills, after the companies were slapped with financial penalties for missing targets in supply interruptions, pollution incidents and internal sewer flooding.
Water regulator Ofwat has revealed £150m will be collectively taken off customer bills in 2023/24, in the next financial year.
Thames Water and Southern Water are the worst performers, and will collectively have to pass on nearly £80m to customers.
However, not all water companies have significantly missed their targets.
Severn Trent Water has exceeded its targets in biodiversity, and are now able to recover more money from customers.
Ofwat chief executive David Black said: “When it comes to delivering for their customers, too many water companies are falling short, and we are requiring them to return around £150m to their customers.
We expect companies to improve their performance every year; where they fail to do so, we will hold them to account. The poorest performers, Southern Water and Thames Water, will have to return almost £80m to their customers. All water companies need to earn back the trust of customers and the public and we will continue to challenge the sector to improve.”
|Water supplier||Total rebate (£m)|
|South West Water||13.3|
These draft decisions are now out for consultation and can be viewed on the Ofwat website.
The consultation closes later this month, on 21 October 2022.
Ofwat has placed enforcement orders on six water companies this year amid concerns over sewage dumping.
Warren Buckley, customer experience director at Thames Water, said: “We can confirm that the financial penalties incurred will be refunded to customers as part of their normal bills and set out clearly on the bills. Adjustments to household bills will be announced next year.
“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.