Our business is intrinsically linked to the environment as we rely on it for our raw product, water. For this reason we do all we can to ensure there is a clean, resilient and sustainable supply available for current and future water customers whilst ensuring there is enough water available to support the needs of the environment too. Click 'Discover More' to find out more from our Head of Environment, Emma Goddard.


Our people are dedicated to providing you with the best service possible, whether they’re out in the field searching for leaks, managing our operational sites, testing the quality of your water or answering your queries. Each and every person within the business is dedicated to delivering you the safe reliable tap water supply you expect. Click 'Discover more' to find out more from our Head of HR, Sian Jenkins.

Last updated 13-07-23

Our responsible business commitment to create more partnership community projects on water use and vulnerability.

We plan to increase the number of projects each year working in partnership with universities and local charities to engage with our community specifically to support our customers in vulnerable situations and reduce water use. We will develop a partnership project to look specifically at water footprints. A water footprint measures embedded water use, not just the water drawn from the tap.

This supports the WaterUK Public Interest Commitment to make bills affordable (also see our vulnerable customer strategy)

Desired impact – For South East Water to be a stronger part of the community – bring benefits to those involved in the partnership, but also helping meet our strategic business commitments to reduce water use, meet vulnerability needs and improve the environment.

How have we performed?

Effective engagement is an important part of community actions. We completed the update of our vulnerability stakeholder mapping last year and implemented a stakeholder relationship plan. During 2022/23, we updated our stakeholder map adding more than 600 stakeholders to our database and worked with the Consultation Institute to establish our engagement commitments which align with the Ofwat principles, CCW recommendations and the Consultation Institute principles of quality engagement.

We have restructured our Customer Experience and Strategy team to bring together the elements of water efficiency, affordability and vulnerability under our Resilient Customer Manager and two new Community Partnership Leads who are crucial in delivering our strategy in harder to reach areas of deprivation and creating deeper relationships with our various councils, third sector groups and community hubs to support customers.

We use the Digital Economy Act 2017 to implement data sharing with local authorities. These partnerships enables us to put low income households automatically onto our social tariff making sure help is given where it is needed most, without customers needing to apply.  Four partnerships with local authorities are currently operating and we are in discussion to create four more. We are working at extending partnership working with a local council to enable their new climate green team to register customers in their local area. We have been sharing the details of this approach with other water companies and with Ofwat, CCW and Defra.

During the last year we have also signed similar sharing agreements with our local energy providers, ensuring that where our customers are registered as needing more support with one of their utilities, this information is shared.

As part of our Trusted Partnership Programme, we work closely with third party specialist organisations to provide additional support for customers. This includes working with virtual debt advisers as part of a free arrangement developed with the Money and Pension Service with support given through our new Breathing Space scheme. This also includes Citizens Advice Home and the award winning Well programme. Through our engagement, we have been approached by food banks and community support hubs to implement new trusted partnerships. National Energy Action help us understand issues of affordability in our supply area and the Kent Kidney Patients Association (KKPA), support us in understanding the needs of our customers who are dialysis patients.

We held our annual vulnerability stakeholder event with the Collaboration Network in December 2022 with over 100 attendees. This collaboration allowed us to expand our outreach and bring in expert voices both locally and nationally. This year our event focused on the cost of living crisis and the impact being felt currently along with future solutions and ways to work better in our communities.

We have made a commitment to reduce water usage (or per capita consumption) by 7.6 per cent by 2025. This is equivalent to reducing the average amount of water used by each of our customers from 143.1 litres per day in 2019-20 to 131.5 litres per day by 2025. One of the tools we use to achieve our goal are partnerships and community campaigns. In 2022/23 these included:

  • Kent Green Action – working in partnership with Southern Water and Kent County Council to promote water saving behaviours through a social media campaign and direct mailing to lower income households encouraging them to apply for free water saving devices and 85,000 door drops to households in the mid Kent in March 2023 providing information on our social tariff free water saving devices.
  • Partnership with East Grinstead Town Council to promote water efficiency: This was our second 12-month sponsorship with East Grinstead Town Council continuing with our whole town approach to water efficiency and additional services. This included attending local event days to promote our services and water efficiency, issuing water saving devices to customers, rolling out our leaky loo campaign in the area, issuing tips and advice to save water and working closely with the council on some jointly branded communications.
  • Partnership with Ashford Borough Council to promote water efficiency in schools with our AquaSmart platform.
  • Our Community Hub programme attending community events throughout the year with our redesigned community trailer to raise awareness of water efficiency and the wider support available from us, giving away devices and running competitions to win water butts.

Case Studies


Innovative pipelaying keep golfers on par

Supporting customers

Support for our vulnerable customers receives top accolade

Support for our vulnerable customers receives top accolade