Water company announces compensation arrangements

South East Water have said they will compensate customers left without water by £100.  They have announced a sliding scale according to how long you were without supplies.  The compensation is above the statutory minimum.

Bottle water station at Chapel Green


Time interrupted

Automatic payment

3-24 hours


Up to two days


More than two days


Customers will not have to do anything to make a claim to receive compensation.  Everyone who was impacted should receive a letter this week.

Interruptions also meant the Sixth Form site at Beacon Academy and Rotherfield Primary School had to close.   South East Water have apologised for the disruption caused to teaching staff, parents and pupils.  They will donate £2,500 to each affected school and offer an education package of visits to South East Water sites and talks by staff on STEM subjects.

Southern Water, whose also had customers with out water because of bursts, have said those without water for over 24 hours will receive £75.

Ofwat’s review

Today the regulator of the water industry have formerly announced the aims of their review of the water supply issues experienced by customers during the recent severe weather conditions.

Ofwat’s review will aim to:

  • Establish what caused the water supply issues experienced by household and business customers across England and Wales;
  • Evaluate water companies’ preparedness in the run up to the recent period of cold weather, including whether they planned ahead sufficiently to ensure they had in place the right resources and processes;
  • Examine the quality of the support provided to customers, particularly those in vulnerable circumstances;
  • Look at the way in which companies communicated with affected household customers and businesses; and,
  • Consider the adequacy of the compensation that companies are offering affected customers.

As part of this review, Ofwat will be seeking input from a wide range of groups including: household and business customers who were directly affected by supply issues, public representatives, community organisations and local authorities.  Once the findings of the review have been published, Ofwat will consider whether any further regulatory action is needed, for example if there is any evidence that a company may have breached any of its statutory obligations or licence conditions.

Ofwat Chief Executive, Rachel Fletcher said:

To be left without a vital public service like water – in some cases for several days – iOfwat's logo - the water regulator in England and Waless deeply distressing, particularly for those in vulnerable circumstances.  Through this review, we are aiming to get to the bottom of why this happened and to identify what lessons can be learned so customers experience minimum disruption in these kinds of circumstances in future.

We’ll find out where companies did well by their customers and where they’ve fallen short, including the compensation being offered to those who were directly affected.  Water companies should ensure that compensation adequately reflects the scale of inconvenience and distress caused to their customers. Compensation should be fair, fast and free from hassle for customers.

Download the Terms of Reference.

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