Water regulator must act to secure better deal for customers

The Public Accounts Committee publishes report calling for the water regulator, Ofwat, to adopt new measures intended to secure a better deal for customers

  • Report: Economic regulation of the water sector
  • Report: Economic regulation of the water sector (PDF 153KB)
  • Inquiry: Economic regulation of the water sector
  • Public Accounts Committee

In its Fifteenth Report of this Session, the Committee concludes Ofwat has consistently over-estimated water companies’ financing and tax costs when setting price limits. As a result, water companies made windfall gains of at least £1.2 billion between 2010 and 2015 from bills being higher than necessary.

The Committee finds Ofwat’s efforts to ensure these gains were shared with customers “secured limited results that varied significantly” from company to company. Financial support for customers who struggle to pay water bills also varies substantially. Other concerns raised by the Committee include customers in areas of water scarcity paying to develop expensive new capacity, when water trading with other companies might be more cost-effective.


Ofwat response to the Public Accounts Committee report on economic regulation of the water sector

Responding to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report published today, Cathryn Ross, Ofwat Chief Executive said: “Holding companies to account and protecting customers is at the heart of what we do. That’s why we’ve made sure bills will fall five per cent by 2020 and companies will deliver more. We will carefully consider the thoughts […]

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