Households across England and Wales are set to see almost £150 million taken off their water bills after dozens of suppliers were fined by Ofwat. 

The water regulator found 11 companies to have missed targets in areas such as water supply interruptions, pollution incidents and internal sewer flooding. 

Thames Water and Southern Water performed the worst and will have to return a total of £80 million to customers. 

Companies exceeding their targets will be allowed to raise prices, meaning bills could go up for millions of people. 

Severn Trent Water performed well and will be allowed to increase customer bills by as much as £63 million over the next few years. 

All water companies will be allowed to increase their prices in line with inflation. This is based on the consumer prices index and occupiers’ housing costs which hit 8.6%. 

This means that inflation-related price rises will most likely be offset by these fines. 

What did Ofwat England and Wales say? 

Ofwat England and Wales’ CEO, David Black, said: “When it comes to delivering for their customers, too many water companies are falling short, and we are requiring them to return around £150 million to their customers. 

“We expect companies to improve their performance every year; where they fail to do so, we will hold them to account. 

“The poorest performers, Southern Water and Thames Water, will have to return almost £80 million to their customers. 

“All water companies need to earn back the trust of customers and the public and we will continue to challenge the sector to improve.” 

Where are water bills going down?

The yearly targets were set at Ofwat’s last price review in 2019 and will remain in place until 2025. 

The following companies are returning money to customers: 

  • SES Water: £300,000 
  • Hafren Dyfrdwy: £400,000 
  • Affinity Water: £800,000 
  • South East Water: £3.2 million 
  • Dŵr Cymru: £8 million 
  • Anglian Water: £8.5 million 
  • South West Water: £13.3 million 
  • Yorkshire Water: £15.2 million 
  • Northumbrian Water: £20.3 million 
  • Southern Water: £28.3 million 
  • Thames Water: £51 million 

Where are water bills going up? 

  • Bristol Water: £600,000 
  • Portsmouth Water: £800,000 
  • South Staffs Water: £3 million 
  • Wessex Water: £4.4 million 
  • United Utilities: £24.1 million 
  • Severn Trent Water: £62.9 million 

What water company am I with? 

You can find your water company by going on the Water UK website and entering your postcode into the search bar.