Energy and Utility Management Consultants

Severn Trent fined for unsafe water, Which? survey condemns energy market

January 2014


Severn Trent Water was fined £66,000 by Coventry magistrate’s court on Monday, after parts of Worcestershire were affected by discoloured water in November 2012. The utility company had originally assured customers that the water was safe to drink, but subsequent investigations found that water supplied contained both E. coli and Cryptosporidium bovis. Severn Trent Water was found to have breached the Water Supply Regulations Act 2000 and accordingly pleaded guilty to 11 counts of supplying water unfit for human consumption.

Which? has released the findings of its annual survey of domestic utility suppliers, showing that average customer satisfaction has fallen from 49% to 41% since last year, with the so-called ‘Big Six’ suppliers occupying the bottom six places in the table. Good Energy and Ecotricity shared first place with a satisfaction score of 82%, whilst npower was in last place for the third year running, with an overall score of just 31%. Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, stated that we have a “broken market which consistently fails customers” and that “radical solutions to improve competition and keep prices in check” are urgently needed. Ofgems ongoing ‘Retail Market Review’ was set up in 2010 to address these issues.

As part of our standard invoice validation on a Half Hourly electricity supply, we noticed that the available capacity charges had been overcharged by the supplier. We raised a dispute with the supplier and arranged for the account to be rebilled to the correct charges - an immediate saving of £7,806 for our client.

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