Households across the Isle of Wight will receive a £61 rebate from Southern Water over the next 5 years as the water company is ordered to pay a £126million penalty for serious failings and deliberate misreporting.
Ofwat – the industry regulator – has fined Southern Water £3million and ordered the utility company to repay £123million to customers after a lengthy 2-year investigation found failings relating to the management, operation and performance of Southern Water’s wastewater treatment works. Ofwat also found that Southern Water deliberately misreported data about the performance of its wastewater treatment works.
Each customer will receive a £17 rebate in 2020/21 followed by a £11 rebate per year for the following 4 years up to 2025. The payments will be made to all households, whether the occupant rents or owns and the amount may increase with inflation. Business customers will also receive a rebate, although details of the amount have not yet been announced.
Ian McAulay, Chief Executive of Southern Water, has said:
“We are profoundly sorry for these failures and have been working very hard to understand past failings and implement the changes required to ensure we better deliver for our customers and meet the standards they deserve”.
Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, Councillor Dave Stewart said:
“On behalf of our residents, visitors and our Island environment it is vital for us to be informed if wastewater sampling specific to our area was involved in this matter or not.
“We will be in contact with Southern Water and the relevant investigating parties, including Ofwat and the Environment Agency, to establish this detail. Until then it would be inappropriate to speculate.
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“Public safety and our beautiful and delicately-balanced environment are of the utmost importance to us all, and as a council we are committed to being rigorous in their protection and defence.”