Environment Secretary issues statement on Ofwat performance report

Following the publication by Ofwat of its Performance Report on the water sector, announcing that water companies will need to return £114m to customers for underperformance, Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey said:

“Ofwat’s report is extremely disappointing. While I acknowledge there is good work ongoing in some companies – cleaning up waterways and investing in vital infrastructure – there is simply not enough of it. The fact that not a single water company is classified as ‘leading’ is unacceptable.

“We have written to the CEOs of every water company in the lowest category of today’s report and my ministerial team and I will meet them in person to scrutinise their improvement plans.

“Billpayers should know we require the worst performers to return money directly to customers through their bills.

“The Government’s Plan for Water sets out how more investment, stronger regulation and tougher enforcement will transform the current system. I have been clear if these companies do not make improvements across a range of different measures, we and our regulators will not hesitate to use our powers to enforce it.

“We are pushing water companies to go further and have changed the rules on bonuses and dividends to ensure billpayers do not reward pollution – or pay for what should already have been delivered.

“Our water and sewerage systems are highly complex and under increasing pressure – but that is no excuse. The public has made it clear that a clean and plentiful water supply is a priority. Government and regulators will be closely securitising upcoming business plans to ensure they deliver the best possible deal for customers, the environment and our future water needs.’’




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