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Update from Southern Water - making amends to our customers and providing additional support

April 2, 2020 10:45 AM

"Good afternoon,

As part of the settlement reached with Ofwat last year following its investigations, we will reduce wastewater charges to existing customers and make payments to eligible former customers totalling £123 million over five years.

For existing customers, this will be in the form of a bill reduction starting on 1 April 2020. In the first year, this will be approximately £14 per customer. In the following four years it will be approximately £9.

Customers who paid wastewater charges between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2020, but who no longer receive their wastewater services from us, may qualify for a payment of approximately £9 for each year (or part of) they were our customer. They can submit a claim through our website for a one-off payment via cheque. More information can be found here.

We're also increasing how transparent we are about our environmental performance, which we know stakeholders consider a priority. We're providing more detail about our releases near bathing waters as well as more frequent reporting about our pollutions performance and wastewater treatment compliance. This can be found here.

This is in addition to the company-wide transformation our business is undertaking to ensure our customers and stakeholders receive the levels of service they expect.

Covid-19 update:

We're continuing to provide our essential services during the current pandemic. The majority of our office based staff are working from home and we're ensuring our operational staff are fully supported while they keep our sites and networks running.

Essential emergency work will still take place. If we have to enter customers' homes, for example to deal with flooding, we'll work with them to make sure everyone is safe. More information about the adjustments we're making is here.

We know the current crisis will have a financial impact on many of our customers so we've increased the support we offer to people in vulnerable circumstances:

· We've introduced 3-month payment breaks for anyone impacted by the virus

· Support tariffs will be automatically renewed, meaning customers don't have to reapply

· We now accept referrals to our Priority Services Register from family members and trusted third-parties such as Citizens Advice, the emergency services or local authorities

· Contributed to a UK Power Networks consortium to support local foodbanks

We're working hard to find more ways to support our customers and will provide regular updates over the next few weeks. More information about the support we offer customers can be found here.

We'll continue to provide updates as things change, but please keep an eye on our website and social media pages for the latest.

Best wishes."

This email was sent to Southern Water stakeholders. It's welcome that Southern Water are making amends to customers, especially at a time when many are experiencing financial issues.