Domestic water retail

Editor's picks

Water companies from across the UK as well as supply partners, NGOs and academic groups have been awarded funding for 11 projects from the Ofwat Innovation Fund to tackle shared problems faced by the sector. See the full list as well as the thoughts of Ofwat's John Russell.
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An environmental group has threatened legal action against environment minister Rebecca Pow’s department for not dealing comprehensively with combined sewer overflows.
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Featured

Installing one million smart water meters each year could cut the UK's greenhouse gas emissions by 0.5 per cent over the next 15 years. The impact of smart water meters on reducing the UK’s carbon emissions has been calculated in a new report by Waterwise and Arqiva that suggests a nationwide rollout would save one billion litres of water daily.
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Thames Water is the first company in the country to undertake a mass rollout of smart water meters and has reached half a million installations. The firm said the programme has led to a reduction in leakage and greater consumer engagement with water efficiency.
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Latest in Domestic water retail

Northumbrian Water has joined the UN-backed Race to Zero global campaign as it announced plans to achieve net zero carbon by 2027 - three years earlier than the industry-wide commitment. However, the target excludes process emissions, which make up half of the company's total greenhouse gases. 
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The judging panel for the main competition within Ofwat's innovation fund has been named with eight people chosen from industry, academia, R&D and beyond the water sector. The competition is designed to encourage innovative ideas, collaboration and sharing of risk to develop projects.
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Anglian Water has set out a twin-track approach to reaching net-zero emissions by 2030, including a “stretch” pathway that shows what could be achieved with additional funding and policy levers.
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The Environment Agency has proposed allowing water companies up to 25 years to deliver on environmental programmes and extending the timeframe for the Water Industry National Environmental Programme (WINEP) from five to ten years.
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A trial by Yorkshire, Siemens and Artesia has trained artificial intelligence to learn to distinguish the sound of a leak on Yorkshire's network from other background noises. This 60 per cent improvement lets the company focus its activities on attending and repairing true leaks.
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In our latest appointments roundup, Severn Trent has revealed Shell Energy Retail's chief operating officer is to join as the water company's new customer retail and technology director. Elsewhere, the trade body Renewable UK has announced the results of its latest annual board election while contractors Stonbury has appointed a new chief executive. 
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United Utilities has become the first UK water firm to be officially recognised by the global Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for its carbon reduction ambitions. The SBTi defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses companies’ targets.
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More water companies than ever before have achieved the Environment Agency's highest standard for environmental performance and serious pollution incidents have fallen year-on-year. However, the EA says it still has "serious cause for concern" for two companies and wants accelerated efforts to reach zero pollution events.
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Water UK's director of policy Stuart Colville tells Utility Week the government needs to match the water sector's ambition to meet demand management goals and to improve sewerage systems
Analysis
Defra is preparing to consult on what the framework for the next price review is later this month while regulator Ofwat has issued guiding principles on embedding social and environmental value into everything the water sector does.
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The numbers of utility customers experiencing problems with their providers are at their highest level since 2010, new research has revealed. The UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), produced by the Institute of Customer Service, ranked the utilities sector as 12th overall with a UKCSI score of 73.5 - up 0.9 points on last year.
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