The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) said it secured £930,000 in financial redress for consumers as complaints made to it about water companies and retailers rose during the first half of 2018/19.

The highest amount secured for one case with an upheld complaint was £53,000. The amount customers received ranged from £10 to the top figure.

Almost 5,200 homes and businesses turned to the water watchdog for help with a complaint during the first six months of the year, a rise of 14 per cent compared to the same period last year.

CCWater launched an investigation into 23 cases – 19 of which involved retailers providing services to non-household customers.

Billing and charges accounted for about half of the complaints handled by CCWater with many of these involving metered customers who had disputed how much they had been charged.

CCWater said its involvement led to other action being taken by a retailer or water company to put things right for an aggrieved consumer in several cases.

In the vast majority of cases (99.5 per cent) CCWater said it was able to reach an outcome that either “met the consumer’s expectations or achieved what the watchdog felt was appropriate”.

Complaints received by CCWater only make up a small proportion of the overall number made against water companies as many are resolved directly between a consumer and their supplier.

Utility Week’s Water Customer Conference will be held in Birmingham on Wednesday 16 January. CCWater’s chair Alan Lovell and the watchdog’s deputy chief executive Phil Marshall will be among the speakers.

The last few places at the event remain. To find out more about the conference and to book a ticket visit our event website.