Customers must not lose out on the service levels and investment they value most when the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) re-examines four water companies’ future plans.
That’s the warning from CCW – the voice for water consumers – which has written to the CMA to share its views on the cases put forward by Northumbrian Water, Yorkshire Water, Anglian Water and Bristol Water after rejecting the regulator Ofwat’s five-year settlement.
The companies are appealing to the CMA to make changes to the regulator’s final determinations which were published in December 2019. But CCW has urged the CMA not to make changes to commitments where customers have already expressed strong support.
Robert Light, Chair of CCW, said “The vast majority of customers accept the package being tabled by Ofwat and it’s vital nothing is done to erode the commitments that underpin that support. Customers don’t have a right to appeal but they do have a right to expect the regulator to be uncompromising in making sure water companies provide them with value for money and sufficient investment to protect these services long into the future.”
Almost nine out of ten water customers in England and Wales said they found the regulator’s draft proposals on price and service levels acceptable when CCW gauged the views of more than 10,000 bill-payers last year.
However, levels of acceptability did vary significantly when factors such as household income were taken into account.