Sharing our success

Like all water companies, South West Water works to a five-year regulated business plan, agreed with Ofwat, to deliver drinking water and wastewater services, and to protect the environment, on behalf of the customers and communities we serve.

Unlike other water companies, we pioneered the introduction of an innovative scheme called WaterShare as part of our highly-rated business plan for 2015-20.  This enables us to share our success with customers in an open and transparent way.  If we outperform targets in our business plan there are financial benefits which we share with our customers. Should we underperform, customers are protected.

Overseen by an independent panel, WaterShare has already delivered extra investment for customers, with delivery of further benefits deferred to the start of the next business plan.

What is WaterShare+?

WaterShare+ is an evolution of our current scheme and a key part of our 2020-25 ‘New Deal’ Business Plan, which was fast-tracked for approval by Ofwat.

As part of our philosophy of sharing our success and giving customers more control in our business, WaterShare+ comprises:

  • The sharing of c£20m with customers in 2020, earned by outperforming our regulated 2015-20 plan
  • The quarterly WaterShare+ Panel meetings in public and a customer annual general meeting (AGM) from 2020

The content of this page is to provide information only and should not be considered as a recommendation towards any of the three methods of how our outperformance will be shared.


How will the money be shared?

Our financial outperformance (which comes from delivering what we said we would deliver, for less) will be shared with eligible customers in one of the following three ways:

  1. A reduction in your bill, OR
  2. A payment into your bank account if you pay by Direct Debit, OR
  3. Shares in Pennon Group plc, South West Water’s parent company

Each eligible customer will be invited to choose their preference.

The content of this page is to provide information only and should not be considered as a recommendation towards any of the three methods of how our outperformance will be shared.


Will I have to take the shares?

No, you do not have to take shares if you don’t want to.

You will be able to choose how you would like to receive your portion of the pot, as described above. We will ask for your preference. If you do nothing and don’t state a preference, your portion will be applied as a credit to your account and will be shown on your next bill.

How will the share scheme work?

Sometimes companies run share schemes or make ‘public offerings’ in order to sell new shares to raise money for the company.

WaterShare+ is different. We will not issue new shares. Instead, we will buy existing Pennon shares from the stock market, using money that has already been built up in the WaterShare+ pot, on behalf of customers who choose to take the share option, rather than a bill reduction or cash rebate.

At the end of the registration period, once customers who want to have applied to join the share scheme, we will take the money that would otherwise be returned to those customers through a bill reduction or cash rebate and use it to buy existing Pennon shares on the stock market on their behalf.

The shares will be bought on your behalf, by a third party (the nominee provider), authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, who will hold the shares on behalf of participating customers. The nominee provider will appear on the share register, but the customers will be the beneficial owners of the shares, meaning they receive the dividends, hold the voting rights and receive the proceeds should they choose to sell them.

The share scheme will be online only and customers wishing to participate will need to provide an email address and bank account details when applying. This will allow company reports and dividends to be delivered and processed electronically.

The value of shares can go up as well as down and you may not get back the original investment.

Further information on the nominee will be provided to you at a later date.


When will I be able to make my choice?

Registration for the WaterShare+ scheme is expected to be between August and September 2020, with rebates and share allocations being completed at the end of September 2020.

Whilst you are not required to submit your final preference until the summer of 2020, if you are unsure of what action you should take you should seek advice from a suitably qualified Financial Advisor.


What information will be available to help me decide?

We are planning to send a letter and publish a customer guide and frequently asked questions on our website explaining the choices and how you will be able to register your preference. These will point out some of the things that you and/or your advisor might want to consider when making your choice, including any tax implications.

If you want to apply for the share scheme you will need to fill in the online application and accept the scheme’s terms and conditions. These will be made available during the registration period.

What happens if I don’t do anything?

If you do nothing, we will credit the account of eligible customers who don’t express a preference with the full rebate amount and the credit will be shown on their next bill.

How do I know if I’m eligible to get a rebate of some kind?

Household customers in the South West Water and Bournemouth Water service areas will be eligible for a one-off payment from the WaterShare+ pot (Bournemouth Water is part of South West Water).  Some non-household customers may also be eligible.  Only eligible customers will be invited to register and state a preference for how they would like to receive their rebate.

A greater say

Based on your feedback, we will be giving you a greater say in our business. 

In addition to existing opportunities to get in touch, in 2020 South West Water will introduce:

  • Quarterly meetings of the WaterShare+ Panel held in public
  • An annual general meeting (AGM) for customers                  

These meetings are for all customers and do not require you to hold any shares in Pennon Group Plc

WaterShare+ Panel Meetings & Customer AGM

WaterShare Panel meetings are currently only attended by members of the panel with minutes published on the South West Water website.

From 2020, these meetings will be held in public every three months and there will be an opportunity for customers to attend and to submit questions to the Panel and South West Water executives.

Once a year we will hold a Customer AGM attended by our senior executives. It will include a report from the independent Chair of the WaterShare+ Panel and will provide the opportunity for customers to vote on the selection of the Panel representatives. It will be in addition to the Pennon AGM for shareholders.

The opportunity to attend WaterShare+ Panel meetings and the Customer AGM will be open to all customers, regardless of how they chose to receive their WaterShare+ rebate.  It is not just for those who choose to join the share scheme.

If you would like to be the first to know when we publish more details about WaterShare+, please submit your contact details below.

Click here to unsubscribe from the WaterShare+ email update list.