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 publish our renewable energy measures

What is this commitment?

We will publish a range of supplementary metrics that highlight the percentage mix of our energy sources and also include information on our energy efficiency and the impact of our land acting as a “carbon sink”.

This contributes to the WaterUK Public Interest Commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions for the sector by 2030.

Desired impact – For South East Water to ensure we are transparently reporting on our progress towards Net Zero carbon ambition for 2030.

How have we performed?

Our business plan for 2020 to 2025 includes a target to reduce our operational emissions by 80 per cent by 2025 (when compared to 2017/18).

We are also aiming to achieve a 98 per cent reduction in our operational direct carbon emissions by 2030 (when compared with 2018/19).

We published a net-zero route map in July 2021 which outlines our strategy to both secure our 2025 commitments and our 2030 operational net zero target. Details of the route map can be found on our website here.

Reducing our energy use

Most of our emissions come from the electricity we use to treat and pump water (72 per cent of all our emissions in 2022/23).

We continually review how we can minimise our carbon emissions with in-depth energy management reviews, extended metering, and through our capital maintenance programme by replacing older assets such as pumps with newer more efficient pumps which will reduce our energy consumption and carbon emissions.

We are also developing more advanced analytics surrounding energy per mega litre of water produced, identifying sites that are less efficient based on energy trends and would therefore benefit from a revised process or improved assets.

Increasing our use of renewable energy

Our original objective for the 2020 to 2025 period was to reduce our emission from our grid electricity using REGO (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin) arrangements. This was an intermediate step before securing direct sources of renewable energy.

In 2021/22 we had REGO arrangements in place, which resulted in a reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions. However, the volatile energy market has led to REGO price increases of greater that 1,000 per cent, and in combination with significant wholesale energy increases we have decided this no longer provides good value for our customers and to focus instead on securing direct green power purchase agreements. This explains why in 2022/23 our emissions have increased because they reflect the standard mix of energy from the grid that we buy from our electricity supplier.

However, our main goal is to secure long term renewable energy supply to cover all of our electricity requirements by entering into power purchase agreements. We have shortlisted a favoured option partner who is developing a new solar farm in our region that will be able to supply approximately 40 per cent of our electricity requirement.

Entering into a long-term power purchase agreement will directly contribute to the development of new renewable energy capacity and enabling further decarbonisation at a UK level. We are also exploring a similar arrangement to buy renewable energy from a wind farm.

We have been designing projects for solar generation on 12 of our own sites across our supply area and we will be working with third party solar energy partners to develop some or all of these projects with us.

In our next business plan for 2025-30, we are focusing on reducing our direct emissions from running our treatment works and our own vehicles, by upgrading our ozone plants to reduce process emissions and decarbonising our fleet of commercial vehicles.

Case Studies

Ardingly Drought

Record-breaking heatwave and drought

The drought and heatwave that affected the south east of England, the country, Europe (and the USA and China) in summer 2022 were exceptional.


Innovative pipelaying keep golfers on par


Sniffing for newts in Farnham

Sniffing for newts in Farnham


Farm events to inspire behaviour change

Our team of Catchment Advisors work hard all year-round to understand, and mitigate, any risks posed to the health of our water sources. A large part of this work involves partnering with hundreds of farmers and land managers in priority catchment areas.

Cockhaise Farm

Grant-funded investments to reduce pressure of drought

Grant-funded investments to reduce pressure of drought