We received Ofwat’s official response to our Dirty Money petition, in which they addressed all four pillars of the campaign and action that they were/ would be taking. We also received a commitment to continue the dialogue with senior leaders at Ofwat and will be pushing them to go further and faster to meet our demands.
1. Cap water company executive bonuses
Since the launch of the petition, Ofwat announced new measures to ensure that executive bonus payments take account of water companies’ performance for customers and the environment. Regular reviews of this will be conducted, and if expectations are not met, customers will not fund these bonuses.
2. Ensure no shareholder dividends are paid out unless water companies comply with environmental regulations
Ofwat highlighted the recent modification of company licenses to better safeguard their financial resilience. They state that these changes will better enable them to stop the payment of dividends if they would risk the company’s financial resilience, and to take enforcement action against water companies that do not take account of their performance – for customers and the environment – when deciding whether to pay dividends.
3. Enforce water company licences and permits
Ofwat highlighted that they currently have their largest ever enforcement investigation underway including open enforcement cases against six large wastewater companies. If they find that companies have failed to comply with obligations we are responsible for enforcing, then they will require them to take the action necessary to return to compliance, at their shareholders’ expense. Shareholders will also be required to pay any fines Ofwat might impose on companies following the investigations.
4. Reveal how customer bills are spent
Ofwat stated they are actively working with water companies to improve transparency and provide customers with a clear understanding of how their money is utilised.