Consumer policy

We have a primary duty to protect consumers and have particular regard to those who may be vulnerable. We take this duty seriously not only because we want to stop customers suffering harm, but also because we think establishing a level playing field between companies and customers is good for companies too. Well informed, confident consumers demand higher standards of service and make fewer vexatious complaints. This increases the sustainability of the sector.

We expect companies to demonstrate that their services reflect customer priorities and not just their regulatory obligations. There are many opportunities and challenges to delivering this, including :

  • water scarcity and climate change
  • increasing choice for business customers
  • rising consumer expectations

But we think this is achievable through a three-stranded approach.

  • Empowering consumers by giving consumers tools to get the services they want and need.
  • Engaging customers by making sure that companies take account of customers’ priorities.
  • Protecting customers by making sure consumers are treated fairly.

Further information

We provide information to household and non-household consumers and the water and sewerage services we regulate. This includes an overview of consumers’ statutory rights. Information about specific services is available from water companies.

UKRN Understanding affordability pressures in essential services An overview of approaches to defining and measuring affordability across the regulated sectors providing the essential services of energy, water and communications

Sustainable water 9 July 2012: Putting consumers first