Ofwat postpones new connections charging rules

Ofwat has postponed the implementation of the new charging rules for new connection services provided by English water firms, to give them more time to consult with their customers.

The framework will not be implemented from April 2017. Instead, the regulator said it is considering introducing the new charging framework from April 2018.

Charging rules for new connection services will cover charges by English water companies to developers and other customers for: connections with water mains and public sewers; the provision of new water mains, public sewers and lateral drains; and pipe diversions.

Some stakeholders have concerns with current arrangements – for example, that charges are too complex, unpredictable and unfair.

Ofwat wants to move from the current legislative charging framework to a more flexible charging framework.

However, it said: “Following our July consultation, we have decided to postpone the implementation of the new connection charging rules framework.

“We think allowing additional time for the transition period would help by giving companies more time to consult with customers and respond to feedback before their charges are finalised.

“It would also give time for Water UK to explore the possibility of a more harmonised approach to implementation, which would reduce the risk of arbitrary differences in companies’ implementation, whilst still allowing companies to introduce innovative tariffs.”

The regulator said it plans to finalise and publish our rules later this year.