Domestic water retail

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Macquarie has signaled its determination to plough capital into the water sector's whipping boy Southern Water as it continues its struggle to "become brilliant at the basics". Industry analyst Nigel Hawkins examines the bid and its background.
Analysis
South Staffs has secured government funding of £10 million under the Green Recovery Challenge that enabled it to upgrade its largest water treatment plant to a ceramic filtration system that will save around 1,000 tonnes carbon annually. The company plans to invest around £55 million upgrading two treatment works during AMP7.
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Featured

Macquarie has signaled its determination to plough capital into the water sector's whipping boy Southern Water as it continues its struggle to "become brilliant at the basics". Industry analyst Nigel Hawkins examines the bid and its background.
Analysis
NI Water has urged government to back its business plans that include opportunities for other stakeholders to utilise its infrastructure and resources to achieve shared climate change mitigation goals.
News
Vodafone's head of innovation Danny Kelly tells Utility Week about its new software platform that he says will allow water companies to combine data from both new hardware and legacy assets to create smarter networks.
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Latest in Domestic water retail

A “disproportionately high” number of written complaints received by Thames Water skewed the sector’s overall performance in 2020/21, a report by CCWater has revealed. The consumer group’s annual report compares the performance of water companies on the number of written complaints they received per 10,000 connections, as well as assessing how well complaints were handled. It found that complaints from households to the water industry rose for the third successive year, with an 11% increase on 2019/20.
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SES Water has told customers it is now safe to drink from the tap after confirming there is “no indication” that water leaving its Westwood treatment works is contaminated.
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Thames has awarded an eight-year contract to SGN to design, build and operate biomethane gas-to-grid facilities at its wastewater treatment works with the first installation due to be completed in March 2022. Gas from anaerobic digestion will be used to heat 3,500 homes in north London.
News
Yorkshire has created stark images of the effects of water shortages on its reservoirs to illustrate how the region will be affected in the next 25 years if action is not taken. It comes as results from a Water UK survey showed looming water shortages were a concern for just 41 per cent of respondents.
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Utility companies should look to other sectors such as supermarkets as good examples of how to retain valuable customers, as new research shows the sector is lagging behind other industries. The survey, by customer engagement specialists Ello, also explored how consumers define loyalty and how this differs across generations.
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South East Water has launched a data sharing partnership with a Kent council to identify low-income customers and automatically transfer them to its social tariff. The water company, which serves 2.2 million customers across its region, has partnered with Maidstone Borough Council and is using powers under the Digital Economy Act 2017.
News
Utility Week hears initial thoughts from the water sector on the first draft of Defra’s strategic policy statement to Ofwat, with commentators warning that it lacks the detail required to trigger the investment needed at PR24 if the government is serious about tackling river pollution and decarbonisation.
Analysis
Portsmouth has begun a smart meter trial ahead of a wider rollout during AMP8. Water efficiency manager Lianne Riggs told Utility Week customers are less interested in saving money because bills are low but environmental messages do resonate.
News
Affinity Water will measure and report on its non-operational emissions from next year as it sets out plans to be carbon negative for scopes one two and three emissions by 2030. Nature-based solutions and developing a blue carbon finance framework are included in the plans.
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Ofwat has reviewed and reflected on performance and feedback from PR14 regulatory period that showed the impact introducing outcome incentives had on sector-wide performance and lessons to learn as PR24 business plans are set
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Non-household water market operator MOSL has set out suggestions for how to include concerns of the business sector in PR24 plans including setting ODIs to allow wholesalers to invest in metering and data.
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Anglian has awarded contracts to MottMacDonald to develop its water resource management plans for 2024 and to Aiimi to continue working on its digital and data strategies over the next eight years to help it achieve its AMP7 targets.
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