Press Releases 2008

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Water Industry Commission for Scotland releases annual assessment of Scottish Water's customer service

14 October 2008

  • Scottish Water surpassing targets by 16% for customer service levels
  • Service levels similar to those in England and Wales

Customers in Scotland are reaping the benefits of better customer service from Scottish Water, with its overall performance improved for the second year running.

The Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS) today released its annual performance report for Scottish Water’s customer service, which evaluates the company against milestones for improvement set by WICS in 2005.

It found that for 2007-08 Scottish Water provided significantly better service to customers, with an improvement of around 7% for the year. This is 16% ahead of the milestone for 2007-08 set by WICS in 2005, and Scottish Water is already close to meeting the 2009-10 target. 

Customer service levels are assessed against a number of measures that customers consider to be most important, such as how quickly supply is restored after an interruption, how quickly Scottish Water handles complaints, and its performance in improving drinking water quality and environmental compliance.

Alan Sutherland, Chief Executive of WICS said:

“We are pleased that, for the second year running, Scottish Water’s customers are receiving an improved level of service. It is now within the range of that received by customers in England and Wales. We are certain these improvements will continue into the future.”

To download a full copy of the report click here

To find out more about the new competitive landscape for businesses and public sector bodies visit


For more press information:
- Jacinta da Rocha Goulter or Julie Fourcade, 3 Monkeys Communications, 020 7440 2415 / 07906 488 614 ([email protected] / [email protected])
- Katherine Russell, WICS’ Director of Corporate Affairs, 01786 430 200

Notes to editors:

1. The Commission’s statutory duty is to determine price limits for Scottish Water based on the lowest reasonable cost of achieving ministerial objectives for the water industry. In November 2005, the Commission determined price limits for water and sewerage services for the regulatory control period 2006-10. A document setting out WICS’ full determination is available at

2. During the 2006-10 regulatory control period, Scottish Water is tasked with delivering a £2.15bn investment programme. This investment is designed to deliver environmental, drinking water quality and customer service improvements specified by Scottish Ministers. Once investment projects are completed, they should be signed off by the appropriate quality regulator (either the Drinking Water Quality Regulator (DWQR) or Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)) as fit for purpose.

3. Scottish Water’s level of service is measured using an overall performance index. This is a weighted index that covers four areas: water supply, sewerage service, environmental impact and customer service. In 2005-06, Scottish Water’s score on this index was 165 points. In early June, the Commission agreed that Scottish Water’s score for 2007-08 was 248 points – an improvement of 7% over the year and 50% over the two years. The equivalent score in 2006-07 was 232 points.

4. Since 1 April 2008, all business customers and public bodies, such as local authorities, hospitals, schools etc are eligible to switch water supplier. The framework for competition is set out in the Water Services etc. (Scotland) Act 2005. The 2005 Act required WICS to establish a regime to license new entrants into the market, and facilitate the orderly opening of the market. It also required Scottish Water to establish a separate retail entity (now Business Stream) to serve non-household customers in Scotland.

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