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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Featured

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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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

The average water bill in England and Wales is expected to rise by 0.5 per cent above inflation to £376 in 2012/13.
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Making water companies responsible for social tariffs is "not good enough", the shadow water minister told an online round­table hosted by Utility Week. Gavin Shuker MP said he would look into the feasibility of a national scheme to help customers in need.
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Despite wider gloom in the jobs market, Vicky Kenrick says talented utility and sustainability professionals are in great demand right now.
Opinion
A drought order granted to South East Water by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs last month has not been used, because heavy rain over Christmas alleviated the crisis.
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The chief inspector of drinking water has accused Water UK of sending muddled messages and making"disingenuous" claims about the sector's work on water quality.
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In a water white paper published last month, government pledged to shake up the water industry. It set out plans that would eventually allow all non-domestic customers to choose their supplier, exposing water companies to competition in many cases for the first time. The government wants companies to be more responsive to customers and the environment, but has it done enough to make sure water remains affordable, and will it give companies and customers the tools they need to manage demand? Have your say in our live webchat, starting at 3pm. The webchat will scroll in a "Cover It Live" panel immediately below this paragraph. To have your say, use the comment box in the panel - no login required.
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