Ofwat consults on updating its charging rules

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Ofwat has launched a statutory consultation on changes in its charging rules.

The water regulator sets principle-based charging rules which are set to give companies flexibility to innovate in how they calculate and present their charges and offer better customer services.

Having the ability to set rules means the water regulator can monitor developments and respond to them accordingly and resolve potential breaches of its rules by issuing enforcement directions.

The consultation document sets out the changes Ofwat proposes to make under the relevant sections of the Water Industry Act 1991 as amended by the Water Act 2014. Ofwat consulted on these proposed changes in June 2021.

This consultation also sets out responses to that consultation and decisions in the light of the responses received. This statutory consultation is the formal, final step before Ofwat issues revised rules, to take effect from 1 April 2022.

Specifically, Ofwat is consulting on wording changes to the:

  • Wholesale Charging Rules
  • Charging Rules for New Connection Services (English Undertakers) (English New Connection Rules) and
  • Charges Scheme Rules.

The changes Ofwat proposes to implement relate to English and Welsh water and/or wastewater companies.

These changes are set to make important steps to improve the transparency of charges for
new connections set by English companies, specifically through greater consistency in
terminology and through use of worked examples.

According to Ofwat, companies have collaborated to make these improvements under the leadership of Northumbrian Water and Water UK, and with input from stakeholders.

The closing date for this consultation is 1st of September 2021.

More information about this consultation and how to take part is available on the Ofwat website.