Water

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Six of the nine water and sewerage companies in England have seen their star rating reduced in the Environment Agency's latest annual Environmental Performance Assessment (EPA) for 2021, with two companies – Southern and South West – receiving just one. However, three companies – Northumbrian, Severn Trent and United Utilities – retained their top four-star rating.
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The Environment Agency (EA) has urged courts to impose far tougher sentences on water companies that pollute, including prison sentences for chief executives and company boards for “serious and deliberate” incidents. The call came as the agency released its annual Environmental Performance Assessment for 2021, which showed the number of serious pollution incidents rising to 62 - the higher number since 2013. EA chair Emma Howard Boyd described the findings as "shocking".
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Ofwat has added a new element to its innovation competition that will allow entries from outside the sector to bid on a pot of £4 million without being sponsored by or partnered with a water company. The announcement comes as the regulator confirms the next round of the competition will begin in the autumn and that it intends to extend the series until 2030.
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Six of the nine water and sewerage companies in England have seen their star rating reduced in the Environment Agency's latest annual Environmental Performance Assessment (EPA) for 2021, with two companies – Southern and South West – receiving just one. However, three companies – Northumbrian, Severn Trent and United Utilities – retained their top four-star rating.
News
United Utilities has agreed to sell its renewable energy business to SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust for approximately £100 million. The company announced its intention to sell off United Utilities Renewable Energy (UURE) in May last year, at which point it was valued at £65.5 million. UURE comprises 69 MW of renewable generation assets including solar, wind and hydro across 70 sites that UU has developed since 2014.
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CCW has reported on progress made in the 12 months since it published its affordability review and made a renewed call upon UK and Welsh governments to take necessary steps to implement a single social tariff ahead of the next price review period. It praised efforts made by the sector to make support more accessible but highlighted the pressures the cost of living crisis is putting on household finances.
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Latest in Water

In an occasional series, Utility Week talks to utilities about the assistance they give vulnerable groups, and what more they could do. This week: supporting older people. By Kathy Oxtoby.
Analysis
“Demand-side management saves money on energy bills and is a reliable contingency for backup power”
Comment
Network companies are facing a shifting regulatory and political environment. Nick Walker assesses the likely impact of this uncertainty on investors’ appetite for financing UK utilities.
News
Weeks of constant rainfall have led to widespread flooding across the country, while near hurricane-force winds have felled power lines, especially in the West and South. Conor McGlone reports.
Analysis
PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) has suggested that appropriate retail net margins for water companies should be between 0.5 per cent to 2.0 per cent for household activities and 1 to 4 per cent for non-household activities.
News
Keith Fowler has agreed to stand down as director of the Open Water programme after just seven months, following a consultation on its funding and structure by Ofwat.
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