Encouraging signs shown by some companies, but more work to be done by the water sector as a whole to deliver for customers and the environment
Ofwat’s service delivery report published today found that there is a real gap between the best and worst performers in the sector, but that the industry as a whole has not kept up the progress made in earlier years and performance has stagnated. For example, despite increasing since 2015-16, customer satisfaction across the sector has deteriorated in 2018-19. Eight companies have made modest reductions in leakage but these are more than offset by the increases made by the poorer performing companies.
The service delivery report compares performance on the outcomes that matter to customers such as leakage and pollution, and how much was spent to deliver them, by the 17 largest water companies in England and Wales. Anglian Water, Wessex Water and Portsmouth Water lead the sector in delivering services for customers overall, and spent less than anticipated doing so. In contrast Thames Water and Hafren Dyfrdwy languish consistently at the bottom of the table, having been ranked among the poorest performers in multiple areas, including customer service and supply interruptions.
Ofwat examined performance in the most recent year, 2018-19 in addition to indicating the direction of change from 2017-18, for example whether outcomes performance (such as leakage) has improved or got worse. The companies have been grouped into three categories (better performers, average performers, and poorer performers) based on their performance against the commitments they made in 2014.
Rachel Fletcher Chief Executive at Ofwat said:
“This latest report card on the water sector shows some real variation in company performance. Customers served by Anglian, Wessex and Portsmouth tend to have a better service. But it also shows some inertia at the bottom of the pack with Thames Water and Hafren Dyfrdwy underperforming across a wide range of measures.
“It’s great that we are seeing some real improvements on things that matter – like reducing sewer flooding. But in other areas the industry’s performance is stagnating. Ofwat’s new strategy and the challenges we are setting in the price review for the five year period to 2025, require companies to transform their performance, particularly those at the bottom of the pile. We are raising what we expect from companies and in responding to that, they will need to show innovation and real ambition.”
As part of its new strategy Ofwat aims to make more use of the insight and data it holds. By ranking companies according to their measured performance, Ofwat is looking to make it clear for companies where they need to focus their efforts in delivering improvements for customers and the environment.
Notes to Editors
Latest News from
Ofwat confirms Southern Water will pay £126m following investigation10/10/2019 12:20:00
In its final decision published today, Ofwat has confirmed that Southern Water will pay £126m in penalties and rebates to existing and former wastewater customers.
Ofwat sets out strategy to improve life through water09/10/2019 12:15:00
Ofwat yesterday published a new strategy to help transform water company performance, meet long-term challenges and embed public purpose into the sector, so that it can improve life through water now and in the future.
Customer service report shows familiar faces at the top and bottom for the water sector18/09/2019 13:15:00
Ofwat has today published a report on customer satisfaction with Portsmouth Water, Wessex Water and Anglian Water coming out as top performers, following strong results the year before too.
Ofwat modifies licences of the 17 water companies to include the objectives of the Board leadership, transparency and governance principles01/08/2019 15:15:15
Ofwat has today made it compulsory for all water companies to meet new objectives about board leadership, transparency and governance (BLTG), including the need to establish a purpose, strategy and set of values.
Ofwat further protects customer interest with new guidance on companies’ ring-fencing obligations24/07/2019 08:05:00
Water companies trying to create financial arrangements otherwise prohibited by their licence, which might include things like intercompany loans up to the parent company, will have to clearly show how the arrangements serve customers’ interests or they will be blocked by Ofwat, new guidance shows.
Price review: Ofwat unveils programme of huge investment, service improvements and lower bills for water customers18/07/2019 10:25:00
Ofwat yesterday set out a major package of investment to signal a new era for what the water sector delivers for customers and the environment.
Market participants need to ‘step up’ to deliver for customers: Ofwat reviews the second year of the business retail market12/07/2019 12:15:00
Customers have saved around £10million in the second year of the market but urgent action is required to get the market working effectively and unlock better outcomes for more customers; according to a new report reviewing the second year of the business retail market from water regulator Ofwat.
Ofwat confirms package of measures aimed at strengthening financial resilience in water companies10/07/2019 12:15:00
Ofwat yesterday confirmed a package of measures to strengthen water companies’ financial resilience, by calling on them to adopt a common set of standards.
Ofwat provides early notice of concerns with 2020-25 efficiency for four water companies04/07/2019 15:37:00
Ofwat is writing to Anglian Water, SES Water, Thames Water, and Yorkshire Water to give them early notice that it has substantial concerns about their proposed costs for maintaining business as usual service (‘base expenditure’) for the 2020-25 period.