The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) has responded to today’s announcement by the regulator Ofwat over its draft price and service plans for United Utilities.
Ofwat has shared its initial view on what the water company should be allowed to charge its customers from 2020 to 2025, in return for a five-year package of investment in the essential services it provides.
United Utilities, Severn Trent and South West Water are receiving their draft determinations ahead of the rest of the industry after being fast-tracked to the next stage of the price-setting process by the regulator, as a reward for submitting the strongest business plans.
CCWater – which represents all water consumers in England and Wales – will now carry out research with customers in north west England to see whether they think the regulator’s proposals are acceptable. The Water Watchdog will use the findings to influence Ofwat’s final decisions on company price limits, service commitments and investment in December 2019.
Robert Light, Northern Chair for the Consumer Council for Water, said: “United Utilities deserve credit for being one of the few companies to use its profits to help more customers in financial hardship. The regulator is right to push the company harder on leakage but at no extra cost to customers. Our water resources are coming under increasing pressure and tackling leaks is an important part of safeguarding future supplies.”
“We’ll now get customers to give us their verdict and if they don’t like what they see, we expect the regulator to make changes before a final decision is made in December.”