We work closely with Ofwat, the water industry regulator to make sure that water companies across England and Wales give customers the best possible service. This included collaborating with Ofwat as it developed a new set of rules known as the Customer Licence Condition.

The new Customer Licence Condition came into effect in February 2024. It mandates that companies deliver high-quality services to customers. This is important because trust in the water industry is low and people want water companies’ to keep their promises.

Additionally, we’ve partnered with Ofwat to shape the guidance that accompanies the licence condition. This includes:

Core customer information

The information household customers should be made aware of and be able to access easily in order to understand the services they are entitled to, and their rights, as a customer

Support for vulnerable households

How companies should support households who need extra help accessing water and wastewater services.

Dealing with debt

How water and sewerage companies should support household customers in paying their bill, accessing help and repaying debts.

If companies don’t deliver against the licence condition, Ofwat can take enforcement action against them.

Continuous improvement

We’ll continue to collaborate with Ofwat as it develops further guidance on the services companies should offer during incidents like water shortages or sewer flooding. The results from our joint research with Ofwat, to understand people’s expectations when things go wrong, will help determine how companies should respond.

We’ll also support Ofwat in monitoring companies’ compliance with the licence condition, and we’ll share insights into customers’ experiences with their water services based on our work supporting and representing them.

The licence condition requires companies to consult us on matters that affect you, such as updates to important information, complaint procedures and codes of practice.

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More information on Ofwat's customer-focused licence condition