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

Our business plan 2020-2025

We have now responded to Ofwat’s Draft Determination of our business plan. Click here to see our response.

Pure know how


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


GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE.  Evolving customer satisfaction to six attitudinal segments: Dedicated strategy to keep our services affordable, accessible and protective Priority Services Register support for 60,000 customers, six new vulnerability measures.   RESILIENCE. Resilient customer, Leakage reduced by 14 per cent, Per capita consumption reduced by nine per cent, Greater resilience to severe droughts, Six environmental measures.   AFFORDABLE BILLS .  The Average household bill maintained at £204:  Financial assistance extended to further 43,500 eligible Customers, Cost of capital lowest ever at 2.4 per cent, Efficiency savings of £45 million.    INNOVATION.  Targeted innovation Strategy, Behaviour change, partnership and innovation toolboxes, 10 new responsible business commitments, Focus on environmental engagement

"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:

2015 TO 2020 CHECKLIST  an improvement in customer satisfaction scores for: the appearance of drinking water, the taste and odour of drinking water, leakage, water pressure, water restrictions, customers’ direct interaction with us, a maintained customer satisfaction score for water supply interruptions despite a number of significant operational challenges, a strong improvement in our Service Incentive Mechanism score and complaints at their lowest levels. Safe, high-quality drinking water that meets stringent standards and maintains customers’ trust – underpinned by a continuous reduction in the number of customer contacts about discolouration and stable performance on taste and odour issues a top-performing industry position for our leakage performance. stable assets and a secure supply of water with no water use restrictions – despite the 2018 heatwave driving sustained high demand. Our wide ranging environmental and statutory obligations including our award-winning catchment management programme. A steady performance on all our financial obligations

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.

Here's how

1. Customer satisfaction drives greater trust, 2. Customer satisfaction drives greater resilience, 3. Customer satisfaction drives smarter engagement, 4. Customer satisfaction drives innovation in the right areas, 5. Customer satisfaction drives us to be a responsible business

“This plan provides the context for the decisions and investment we need to make for the long term"

Our toolboxes

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.

Tell us your views

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