The economic regulator of the water sector, Ofwat, has today published a review of the freeze and thaw that resulted from the ‘Beast from the East’ extreme weather at the start of March 2018.
We are pleased that Ofwat has recognised we performed well across the wide range of aspects that the review considered. Ofwat also recognised our great ongoing partnership with Wessex Water which meant we were able to plan ahead to ensure a continued supply of water across our area.
Ofwat has published a letter summarising its review of each companies’ performance, and despite the most severe weather affecting our area, the review recognises that we performed well and ‘largely met its customers’ expectations’. It also highlights that we have good information about our network to allow us to make sure we had enough resources in place and could respond effectively.
Chief Customer Officer Ben Newby said “While less than one per cent of our customers were affected by supply interruptions, we aren’t complacent and we’re always striving to improve the supply of water, no matter what the weather.
“We’re also keen to ensure our customers understand the issues around severe weather and how they can protect their homes, which is why we used our social, digital and direct customer channels to provide them with information ahead of the weather arriving, and kept them up-to-date with the latest information as the freeze and thaw set in.
“Since the freeze-thaw event we have completed our £27m Southern Resilience Scheme which will boost even further our ability to respond to such events. We consulted in our recent draft business plan how we can go even further, setting out our plans to make sure all major towns and cities are protected from long interruptions, and to boost our support for meeting the needs of our customers when they are at their most vulnerable to events such as the weather.
“We will now review the Ofwat report and its recommendations, and consider how we responded and whether improvements can be made.”