Non-domestic water retail

Editor's picks

A new report commissioned by Ofwat has said the introduction of a B-Mex incentive, to measure end consumer satisfaction with non-household water providers, could “fill important gaps” in the existing regulatory framework. Ofwat is considering the recommendations of Europe Economics including running a pilot version from April 2022 ahead of potentially implementing the mechanism at the next price review in 2024, or via a different framework.
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Everflow has set out plans to double its staff and increase turnover to £240 million in the next five years by focusing on its technology platforms after securing financing from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.
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The main round of Ofwat's innovation competition kicks off in May with collaboration encouraged for entries that can win £1 million to £10 million to advance and commercialise ideas, models and processes that will benefit the whole sector. The regulator has also updated on activity in the first round of the Innovation in Water Challenge.
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Featured

Water companies from across the UK as well as supply partners, NGOs and academic groups have been awarded funding for 11 projects from the Ofwat Innovation Fund to tackle shared problems faced by the sector. See the full list as well as the thoughts of Ofwat's John Russell.
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An environmental group has threatened legal action against environment minister Rebecca Pow’s department for not dealing comprehensively with combined sewer overflows.
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Latest in Non-domestic water retail

Northumbrian Water has joined the UN-backed Race to Zero global campaign as it announced plans to achieve net zero carbon by 2027 - three years earlier than the industry-wide commitment. However, the target excludes process emissions, which make up half of the company's total greenhouse gases. 
News
The judging panel for the main competition within Ofwat's innovation fund has been named with eight people chosen from industry, academia, R&D and beyond the water sector. The competition is designed to encourage innovative ideas, collaboration and sharing of risk to develop projects.
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Ofwat has confirmed its decision to temporarily increase the maximum prices business retailers are permitted to charge as a result of increased levels of bad debt. Under the regulator's plans, where bad costs across the market exceed 2 per cent of revenue, retailers will bear 25 per cent of the costs, with the rest passed on to customers.
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The majority of business customers were not aware of the support that was available to them during the pandemic from their water retailer as most did not recall being contacted about help to pay bills, a CCW report has shown.
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MOSL has launched a £1 million fund to encourage innovation in the non-household water sector. It is designed to improve the market and deliver benefits to business customers.
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The Environment Agency has proposed allowing water companies up to 25 years to deliver on environmental programmes and extending the timeframe for the Water Industry National Environmental Programme (WINEP) from five to ten years.
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Water UK's director of policy Stuart Colville tells Utility Week the government needs to match the water sector's ambition to meet demand management goals and to improve sewerage systems
Analysis
Thames Water has set out plans to go beyond carbon net-zero goals with an ambition to enter carbon neutrality by 2040. The routemap highlights wastewater treatment as the area most in need of attention, but with opportunities included.
News
With water retailers facing a mounting volume of deferred or unpaid bills from business customers, a focus on improving payment allocation can help them keep their cashflow healthy, argues Parseq’s Craig Naylor-Smith
Opinion
United Utilities has put its renewable energy business up for sale, with the process expected to commence in June. The water company said the disposal of its renewable energy assets - valued at £65.5 million - will allow it continue to benefitting from their output while reinvesting the proceeds in other low carbon projects.
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Thames Water has been investigated by Ofwat over concerns its smart meter rollout approach breached competition rules by restricting access for retailers and third parties to meters and data. Thames has proposed a series of formal commitments, which if implemented would close the case.
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