PN 40/18 Ofwat consults on underperformance and outperformance payments for four water companies


Ofwat will today begin consulting on proposed outperformance and underperformance payments for four of the seventeen water companies in England and Wales, to be applied from April of next year.

  • Ofwat proposes to apply a net underperformance payment of £0.27m to South West Water. This reflects its continued underperformance on pollution incidents despite its progress in reducing leakage.
  • Anglian Water’s reduction in leakage levels by 9 million litres a day gives the company a proposed net outperformance payment of £4.6m.
  • Severn Trent has made major progress in reducing sewer flooding – one of the worst service failures customers can experience – and pollution. Ofwat proposes it takes £24.9m of its outperformance payment for wastewater services now, with its additional outperformance payment deferred until 2020. However, it has underperformed on supply interruptions, leakage and drinking water complaints. As a result we propose it makes a net underperformance payment of £29.6m for water services.
  • New water company Hafren Dyfrdwy has incurred a proposed net underperformance payment of £62K relating to the area formerly served by Severn Trent Water.

All water companies have committed to improve their performance for 2015-20 based on customer consultation. Companies that deliver above and beyond for customers, can earn outperformance payments while companies that do not meet their commitments can incur underperformance payments. Where underperformance reflects breaches of licence conditions, Ofwat may take further enforcement action, as it did against Thames Water in June of this year.

Severn Trent Water applied for the limit on the amount of money it can receive in outperformance payments to be removed. As a result Ofwat is also consulting on changes to how Severn Trent Water’s outperformance and underperformance payments are calculated in future. The proposed changes reset Severn Trent Water’s targets for sewer flooding and pollution, to ensure that its performance does not fall, and that only improvements above and beyond those it has already made could receive outperformance payments. We also propose to reduce the rate at which outperformance payments are earned.

David Black, Ofwat’s Senior Director, Water 2020 said:

“For companies that go truly above and beyond, setting new standards across the sector, our approach means there can be hard-earned payments; but companies that fail to live up to their commitments will have to return money. This helps to push companies to focus on what matters most to customers.”

Ofwat Press Office:

Tel: 0121 644 7642
Mob: 074 5801 6085
Email: [email protected]


Notes to editors:

  • Ofwat’s consultation will remain open until 21 November
  • For further information CLICK HERE for the link to Ofwat’s consultation


  • Following Severn Trent Water’s purchase of Dee Valley Water and resulting licence changes, Severn Trent Water now serves customers based in England (including those formerly served by Dee Valley Water) while Hafren Dyfrdwy serves Welsh customers formerly with either Dee Valley Water or Severn Trent Water. Hafren Dyfrdwy adopted the commitments (and more immediate potential underperformance payments and outperformance payments) of Severn Trent Water in Wales.
  • Four water companies have chosen to receive some of their underperformance payments and outperformance payments more immediately after the performance in question and this consultation relates to those payments for those companies. The others have opted to have all their underperformance and outperformance payments combined and applied in Ofwat’s 2019 price review, when Ofwat will set the service package that customers will receive and the price they will pay in the period 2020-2025.
  • Ofwat is proposing that from 2020, all companies will receive some of their outperformance and underperformance payments close to the performance in question.