STATEMENT: Price Review must be focused on customer priorities

The Consumer Council for Water says the next Price Review (PR19) must be focused on delivering what customers want, including acceptable bills.

The water watchdog has today (Tuesday) responded to the publication of the water industry regulator Ofwat’s consultation on its methodology for the next price-setting process.

It sets out how water companies should develop their service and investment plans for the period 2020 to 2025 and how Ofwat will assess these when they are submitted.

Tony Smith, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater), said: “We need to make sure the Price Review is focused on delivering the outcomes that customers really want to see, including acceptable bills.”

“Ofwat wants to strengthen the role of performance rewards and penalties which have the potential to benefit customers, but we need to guard against water companies being rewarded for simply doing their day job.”

“The next Price Review should also signify the moment that there was a clear step change in resilience so we can be confident the industry has safeguarded the long-term future of the services that matter most to customers.”

Ofwat sets the limits on what water companies in England and Wales can charge customers every five years, as part of the price-setting process – known as the Price Review.

CCWater will study Ofwat’s proposals closely before submitting its response to the consultation in August.

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