Welcome to the most ambitious business plan we have ever produced
Take a look at the highlights from our plan below or click on the blue button to download it in full.
To see the plan in a larger font or listen to it as an MP3 audio, an accessible version is available here.
We have now responded to Ofwat’s Initial Assessment of our business plan. Click here to see our response.
Wondering why we filmed this video in a maze? Not only does it demonstrate how we’ve navigated our way to our current business plan, it’s also significant because this year we’ve been working with maize crop farmers to stop soils, fertiliser and pesticides washing from fields into rivers and groundwater resources.
The fantastic initiative won Our Environmental team the prize for Water Resilience Initiative of the Year at 2018 Water Industry Awards. Find out more here.
Customer satisfaction responsibly delivered
We believe customer satisfaction is the best yardstick for everything we do, which is why it is the core theme of our 2020-2025 business plan.
We are driven by the same values of trust as our customers. We are a business made up of dedicated water people who want to make a difference – to customers, communities, the environment and society – so that everyone and everything thrives as a result of what we collectively do.
We are immensely proud of being a local water company with a passion for sharing our ‘pure know h2ow’ – and we have used our customers’ desire to know more about their water supply service to develop our ‘resilient customer’ concept.
“Passion is what makes the ambitious promises in this plan credible, so that customer satisfaction is responsibly delivered"
The result is a plan
Which remains built around customer satisfaction, but which has improved from measuring average satisfaction across seven service elements to measuring satisfaction by attitudinal segments so we meet the expectations of all our customers – whatever their needs or circumstances
Which strengthens the link between satisfaction and resilience by making customers part of the solution by giving them targeted information, and as such, greater control over their water use. We have used recent supply challenges in 2018 – such as the freeze thaw and heatwave – to develop this further through our resilient customer concept
Which has a focused innovation strategy which targets our customers’ and stakeholders’ priorities; and where we can make the most difference to lead the industry, not least using our toolboxes to deliver greater customer satisfaction
Which has 10 new responsible business commitments to reflect the actions and behaviours that customers expect a responsible business to display; and, in conjunction with great service, have the potential to create a step-change in trust of the water sector
Which challenges us to deliver performance levels well beyond anything we have delivered historically and new ones too, such as our performance commitments relating to vulnerable customers, the environment and customer satisfaction
Which when all the components are intrinsically linked as a package, only 4% of our customers did not find it acceptable
And all at the same price as now
The challenge of doing more for less should not be underestimated. We have 35 new performance commitments in this plan. To deliver those while keeping water bills stable has required us to make aggressive assumptions on our ability to reduce total expenditure, via bold efficiency and productivity improvements.
Our ambition to do more for less is what this plan is built upon and is what drives us to set a new tone of trust and transparency in the water sector. We will do this by evolving our use of satisfaction and introducing responsible business commitments.
How our plan addresses great customer service, resilience, affordable bills and innovation
"Our performance commitments are ambitious and stretching, and the challenge of meeting them should not be underestimated"
How our plan builds on our current performance
This plan builds on our performance for the 2015 to 2020 period which has delivered:
What makes this plan different from our last
This plan is different to our last because of knowing our customers better and keeping them satisfied with our service.
We were the only water company to introduce a suite of innovative customer satisfaction commitments for our 2015 to 2020 business plan.
We did that because we believe customer satisfaction is the best yardstick for everything we do. It underpins customers’ trust in us; and is the very essence of what a responsible business should be.
Customer satisfaction, responsibly delivered, remains the core theme of this plan but achieves much more.
“This plan provides the context for the decisions and investment we need to make for the long term"
We have developed toolboxes to deliver on our promises which ensure that customers, stakeholders and society play a greater part in the delivery of our services and become part of the solution to old and new challenges.
The behavioural change toolbox for customers – using successfully-tested behavioural science techniques as well as more traditional campaigns and literature to tap into attitudes so that customers help us achieve shared goals.
The partnership toolbox for our stakeholders – who have a strong desire to increase their participation in water issues and activities.
The innovation toolbox for the supply chain to work with our business – so that we can adopt or adapt existing technologies while actively seeking out new ones.
Customer Challenge Group
The Customer Challenge Group endeavours to put South East Water customers at the heart of future plans and prices.
The independent group – which comprises water regulators, customer representatives and key stakeholders – scrutinises and challenges our strategic direction, including this current business plan.
Now that our 2020-2025 business plan has been finalised, Ofwat has asked the Customer Challenge Group to write a report which sets out how well we've engaged with our customers, and whether their views have been adequately reflected in the plan.
You can read the report and find out more about the Customer Challenge Group at www.customerchallenge.co.uk.
Your water, your say
Our 2020-2025 business plan is based on feedback from thousands of our customers and stakeholders. Thank you to everyone who has played a part in its development. If like us you're a proud water geek and want to take a look at the full business plan and appendices please click here.
We want to continue these conversations as we prepare to deliver this plan in collaboration with others, so if you have any feedback for us, we'd love to hear it. Simply click on the blue button below.