Water Supply: Devon

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered am ar 24 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask His Majesty's Government, following the recent parasitic outbreak in drinking water in Devon, what assessment they have made of (1) the proposed compensation for affected consumers, and (2) the impact on consumer confidence.

Photo of Lord Douglas-Miller Lord Douglas-Miller The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Guaranteed Standards Scheme sets minimum statutory standards of service for customers of water and sewerage companies, and where a company fails to meet any of these standards it is required to make a specified payment to the affected customer. Several companies also offer enhanced Customer Services Promises in addition to the statutory requirements, including compensation payments for additional standards.

In relation to the incident in Devon, the Secretary of State appreciated the considerable concern and disruption to the local community. He raised those concerns directly with the Chief Executive. South West Water increased its standard payment within its Customer Service Promise for a boil water notice to £115. Some customers will receive £265 which represents financial compensation equivalent to over 50% of South West Water’s average annual bill per household, according to Ofwat’s bill estimates.

Excellent customer experience is important to maintain consumer trust and confidence in the water sector. We expect water companies to take that seriously, to respond to events appropriately in a timely manner and to deliver better services to their customers.

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