We wanted to understand how acceptable water and sewerage customers find Ofwat’s Draft Determinations of the 2020-2025 Business Plans from Severn Trent (SVT), South West Water (SWW) and United Utilities (UU). DJS Research carried out this research on our behalf, seeking views from 500 customers for each company.
This includes 500 customers from the South West Water supply area in Devon & Cornwall and a further 500 for Bournemouth Water (BW), which is covered by the same Ofwat decision since the company is owned by South West Water. The results from the research were included in our consultation responses to Ofwat.
Key findings include:
- Acceptability was high for both United Utilities and South West Water/Bournemouth Water at 86% and 85% respectively (uninformed acceptability).
- No difference in acceptability levels for customers in the South West Water and Bournemouth Water regions.
- Acceptability for Severn Trent’s plan was lower at 74%.
- All three companies saw acceptability among customers fall slightly when they were given more information about what the plan delivered.
- Informed acceptability was 83% for UU and SWW/BW and 70% for SVT. A reason for this could be that customer’s feelings about Outcome Delivery Incentives (ODIs), which are the system of financial and reputational rewards and penalties linked to companies’ delivery of their plans.
The research summary for Severn Trent will be published in July 2019.
DJS will be carrying out further research for us when Ofwat publishes its Draft Determinations for the companies it has placed in its Slow Track and Significant Scrutiny categories in July. Once all the fieldwork has been completed we will publish an in-depth report analysing the findings from the research.