SOUTH East Water has submitted its 'boldest and most significant investment plan ever' to the regulatory authority Ofwat.

The proposal outlines an impressive £1.9bn investment over the next five years, starting in 2025, aimed at bolstering the company's infrastructure and improving customer service.

The investment means there will be an increase in the monthly bills for the customers.

South East Water acknowledges that recent years have seen its service levels fall short of the high standards expected of it.

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The company said challenges brought on by the pandemic and the accelerated impacts of climate change have put immense pressure on the company's operations and resilience.

As part of the proposed plan, the water company intends to make substantial investments in its network to enhance customer service, reduce supply interruptions, and strengthen overall network resilience.

This initiative is considered a crucial step to regain customer confidence and ensure a reliable and high-quality water service for the public.

David Hinton, chief executive officer of South East Water, said: "The level of supply interruptions our customers have experienced has been too high. It has impacted customer satisfaction and undermined confidence in us to provide today's public water service. We are proposing an ambitious level of investment, over the next five years, to deliver a reliable and high-quality service for our customers while ensuring the environment thrives."

The investment plan encompasses several key areas of improvement, including:

  • Developing new water sources such as a reservoir at Broad Oak, Odiham

  • Increasing cleaned drinking water storage capacity

  • Implementing smart meters to enhance efficiency

  • Utilising new technology to reduce leaks

  • Collaborating with farmers to maintain excellent water quality

However, this substantial investment will require raising significant new capital

Mr Hinton said: “While increasing bills is never welcome, investment in our water system is essential to ensure the security of our water supply in the future

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"Using the Ofwat investment methodology, we believe that delivery of this plan will see bills rise on average from £19.33 a month in 2025 to £23.12 a month by 2030. The funds raised are guaranteed only to fund improvements in our water systems and if these improvements aren’t delivered, bills will automatically be reduced.”

To address the needs of vulnerable customers, South East Water has developed a six-point support plan, including a new social tariff and additional assistance to combat water poverty by 2030. The company will also expand its partnerships to reach as many eligible individuals as possible.

The proposed plan is available for review, and further feedback can be provided on the company's website at