Our regulators

We seek to work collaboratively with all of our regulators to maintain our good performance and compliance record.

Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat)

The Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) is the economic regulator of the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales.

Ofwat acts independently from the Government and aims to provide consumers with value for money.

Ofwat establish the limit on how much individual water companies can charge their customers, and aims to protect the standard of service customers receive from their supplier.

Ofwat website

As part of Water 2020, we were asked by Ofwat to support the development of its approach regarding the future regulatory framework. You can download and read our report below:

Ofwat is undertaking a piece of work to analyse the costs and benefits of extending retail competition to households. To inform this debate we, together with our advisers, have examined mechanisms that could be used to mitigate any increase in counter party credit risk as a result of opening the market. You can download and read the report below:

Transience as a driver of retail costs

This report assesses (population) transience as a driver of household retail operating costs. It shows that transience, across differing measures of transience, is a robust driver in some but not all models of such costs. This confirms Thames Water’s experience of greater transience in its area substantially raising its household retail costs. In the light of the report’s findings, we encourage Ofwat to include transience in the mix of drivers it has regard to in developing its household retail models.

Modelling the propensity to default on payments of water bills

This report explores options available for modelling the propensity to default on payment of water bills in retail models. There is broad agreement that this propensity concerns a key driver of bad debt (and by extension total retail costs), and that a measure of this propensity should be included in bad debt models. The question then turns to which measure to include. Frontier assessed the merits of the three measures considered by Ofwat, identifying default rate as a suitable short-term measure whilst warning against income deprivation. In the light of the report’s findings, we encourage Ofwat to take note of this report’s findings in deciding on its retail models (bad debt and total costs) for PR19 and beyond.


Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI)

We are independently regulated, along with all other water companies in England and Wales, by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI).

The DWI acts on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the National Assembly for Wales.

Its role is to assess the wholesomeness of water supplies. It also undertakes technical audits of water suppliers to examine all aspects of water quality, treatment and monitoring.

In addition, the DWI requires each water supplier to submit quality data on a monthly basis for scrutiny.

Where necessary, the DWI can require a company to implement schemes to improve water quality, and will monitor their progress.

Drinking Water Inspectorate website

Environment Agency (EA)

The Environment Agency (EA) seeks to maintain and improve the quality of 'raw' water in England and Wales, and is responsible for issuing water companies with abstraction licences.

The EA is concerned with the quality of fresh surface and underground water, marine and estuarial waters, and strives to prevent/reduce the threat of water contamination.

Environment Agency website

Natural England

We work closely with Natural England on biodiversity initiatives and over the management of the many Sites of Special Scientific Interest that we own.

We also seek their advice over wildlife issues connected with our capital investment programme, for example when working to avoid adverse impacts on protected species and their habitats.

Natural England website

English Heritage

We consult English Heritage on many of our capital investment projects in London and for advice when working in or near Scheduled Monuments and Registered Historic Parks and Gardens across the Thames Valley.

English Heritage website

Health Protection Agency (HPA)

We work in partnership with the Health Protection Agency (HPA), who provide us support and advice in safeguarding public health.

The HPA contains 39 Health Protection Units (HPUs) which are divided across the country.

We work closely with HPUs when an incident is reported to protect and inform the public, especially vulnerable groups.

Health Protection Agency website

Environmental Health Officers (EHOs)

Your local authority is also involved in water quality via its teams of Environmental Health Officers (EHOs).

These teams have local responsibility to the public to ensure many aspects of the environment are not harmful to public health.

Contact your local authority for further details on environmental health issues in your area.

Consumer Council for Water (CCWater)

Customers are represented in the water industry by an independent body called the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater).

CCWater took over from the previous organisation (WaterVoice) in 2005, and acts on behalf of water and sewerage customers in England and Wales.

Consumer Council for Water website

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