The Environment Agency's (EA's) Environmental Performance Assessment (EPA) - Since 2012 the EA have published a composite measure of environmental performance, including pollution incidents (classified in categories 1 (being the most severe) through to 3), discharge permit compliance, sludge disposal compliance, pollutions self-reported and NEP outputs delivered. They classify each water company as industry leading, above average, below average or poor.
We have targeted maintaining our industry leading position throughout AMP6, which would require meeting five of the following six parameters: having fewer than or equal to 83 cat 3 pollution incidents per 10,000km of sewers; having fewer than or equal to 1 cat 1 or 2 pollution incidents per 10,000km of sewers; achieving more than 99% STW discharge compliance; achieving 100% sludge disposal compliance; self-reporting more than 75% of pollution incidents and achieving 100% of NEP outputs.
This measure has the potential for a customer refund; if our performance drops to below average we would refund customers £5.9m. There is also the potential for incentive payments if we perform well on the pollutions indicator; if in any year we achieve zero category 1 and 2 pollutions we can receive an incentive payment of £190k for each cat 3 pollution incident less than 67.
In 2017-18 we achieved our target of 'industry leading' rating in the Environment Agency's Environmental Performance Assessment. However, our pollution performance fell short of that required to achieve the outperformance payment.
Our target is to continue to achieve this rating, however, some of the performance criteria, particularly relating to pollutions, are outside our direct control (e.g. sewer blockages due to wet-wipes, unauthorised discharge to sewer affecting STW compliance), and so, despite our best endeavours, this 'industry leading' rating cannot be guaranteed.