We work collaboratively with all of our regulators to maintain our good performance and compliance record. Below is a detailed list of all of our regulators of whom we work closely and collaboratively with to ensure we provide the best level of customer service and water quality to our customers. These regulators include the Environmental Agency, English Heritage and Ofwat.
The Water Services Regulation Authority, known as Ofwat, is the economic regulator of the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales. Ofwat establishes the limit on how much individual water companies can charge their customers, aim to protect consumers with value for money and also protect the standard of service customers receive from their supplier.
Their main duties include protecting the interests of consumers, securing the long-term resilience of water supply and wastewater systems, ensuring water companies finance and conduct their functions effectively.
This report assesses population as a driver of household retail operating costs. It shows that the population, over a shorter period of time, is a robust driver in some models of such costs. In the light of the report’s findings, we encourage Ofwat to include population in the mix of drivers it has regard to in developing its household retail models.
This report explores options available for modelling the propensity to default on the payment of water bills in retail models. There is broad agreement that this calculation concerns a key driver of bad debt and that a measure of this calculation should be included in bad debt models. Frontier assessed the merits of the three measures considered by Ofwat, identifying the default rate as a suitable short-term measure whilst warning against income deprivation.
The Drinking Water Inspectorate, known as the DWI, acts on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Areas (DEFRA) and the National Assembly for Wales. Their role is to assess the wholesomeness of water supplies. The DWI regulates the quality of the drinking water we supply and ensures its safety and compliance with Water Quality Regulations. This is completed by reviewing tests we conduct on our drinking water and examining water quality and treatment, as well as carrying out inspections on water companies as and when required.
DEFRA is the UK government department responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, supporting the food and farming industry and rural economy. They are supported by 35 agencies and public bodies responsible for setting policies and regulations on environmental, food and rural issues. They aim to support the food, farming and fisheries industries by enhancing the environment and better protection against flooding, disease and other natural threats. DEFRA sets the overall water and sewerage policy framework in England including setting standards and drafting legislation.
The Environment Agency, known as the EA, is a non-departmental public body which is the principal adviser to the government and main body set up to protect and improve the environment in England and Wales. The EA seeks to maintain and improve the quality of raw water in England and Wales and is responsible for issuing water companies with abstraction licenses. They also work in collaboration with other organisations to reduce flood risk, promote sustainable development and secure environmental and social benefits.
Natural England is a non-departmental public body in the UK, sponsored by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. They’re responsible for ensuring England’s natural environment, including its land, freshwater and marine environments are protected and improved.
We work in partnership with the Health Protection Agency (HPA), who provide us with support and advice in safeguarding public health. The HPA contains 39 Health Protection Units (HPUs) which are divided across the country. We work closely with HPUs when an incident is reported to protect and inform the public, especially vulnerable groups.
Your local authority is also involved in water quality via its teams of Environmental Health Officers, or EHOs, who have a local responsibility to the public to ensure many aspects of the environment are not harmful to public health. If you’re concerned about the water quality in your local area, contact your local authority for further details on environmental health issues.
The Consumer Council for Water, known as the CCW, is an independent body that represents customers’ interests relating to price, service and value for money as well as conducting independent research and investigating customers’ complaints relating to water quality.