Only two water companies fast-tracked by regulator Ofwat in price review

For the past two years, I have been working hard chairing the Customer Challenge Group of South East Water which has had to submit views on the company’s business plan for 2015-2020 to the water regulator Ofwat. Each water company in England & Wales has a CCG which has been doing the same thing.

This is an important process because, on the basis of the company’s business plan and our critique of it, Ofwat will eventually decide what prices South East Water can charge to its 2.1 million customers from 2015-2020.

Companies submitted their business plans and CCGs submitted their reports on 2 December 2013. You can read our report here.

Ofwat originally decided that, as a feature of this Price Review, it would allocate each company business plan to one of three self-explanatory categories: enhanced, standard and resubmit. This morning, Ofwar announced which of the 18 companies are to be offered enhanced or fast-track status and explained that, in a change of approach, all other companies would be treated the same with all having to rework their plans to some degree.

The statement announces that only two companies are to be offered enhanced status and neither of them is the company that I have been working with, South East Water. The companies are Affinity (which is actually my own water company) and South West Water.

So clearly there is more work for 16 CCGs, including the one I chair. Meanwhile Ofwat has said:

“All water and wastewater companies have worked hard to take ownership of their plans. We have seen a real change in approach, which will benefit customers. It is clear that companies have engaged actively with customers, and have sought to reflect that engagement in formulating customer-focused plans. The customer challenge groups (CCGs) have made a significant and important contribution to this step change.”


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