Customer satisfaction with the industry rose from 82 out of 100 in 2015/16 to 84 out of 100 in 2016/17, according to the latest Service Incentive Mechanism report.
Three companies tied for the top spot, each with a score of 88 out of 100: Wessex Water (up a point from 87 last year), Northumbrian and Essex & Suffolk Water (up from 84) and Portsmouth Water (down from its lone lead last year of 90).
At the bottom end, Southern Water has managed to claw its way out of worst position, with a significant jump in its score from 72 out of 100 in 2015/16 to 78 out of 100 in 2016/17. In the process it overtook Thames Water, whose score remained steady at 77, but because of Southern’s climb Thames now finds itself in last place.
The only other company with a score languishing in the 70s is Affinity Water with 79 (up from 77). Two other companies that had scores in the 70s in 2015/16 managed significant improvements in the latest reporting year: Dee Valley made an impressive leap from 78 to 86, and likewise South West jumped from 75 to 82.
Ofwat is consulting on plans to replace the SIM after 2020 with two new customer experience measures.
Industry information dashboard Discover Water was last week updated with 2016/17 data across the wide range of performance areas covered.