Yorkshire Water has accused Ofwat of resorting to "populist" tactics, with an "unrestrained attack" on foreign investors in the sector. The company warned that the regulator risks undermining trust in the system and driving away investors. The accusations are included in the latest submission to the PR19 appeals.
The CMA has confirmed it will publish its final determinations for Anglian, Bristol, Northumbrian and Yorkshire in February instead of December. It said the high level of stakeholder interest in the appeals meant it would make full use of the time available.
Anglian, Bristol, Northumbrian and Yorkshire Water may have to wait until February for a decision on their appeal against Ofwat's final determinations. Utility Week understands the CMA is consulting on extending the timetable to conduct as robust a review as possible
Ofgem has written to the CMA asking it to consider the impact on other regulated sectors of its stance on the cost of capital in water. Ofgem urged the CMA to ensure its redetermination is not “treated as making broader assessments beyond the present and specific context of PR19”.
Utility Week looks at the key themes emerging from the responses to the Competition & Markets Authority’s initial findings on the PR19 appeals. Was the panel qualified, did it have enough time and could an unhappy Ofwat move towards a judicial review?
Consumer advocate Citizens Advice has calculated that the Competition and Markets Authority’s findings in the appeal of four water companies’ price review could cost households as much as £3.7 billion by setting a "dangerous precedent" for energy networks' price controls.
The four water companies that appealed Ofwat's final determination for PR19 have said the Competition and Market Authority's preliminary redetermination strikes a better balance between risk and reward for investors but still doesn't go far enough towards improving the financeability of their business plans.
Ofwat has warned the Competition and Markets Authority that its ability regulate in customers' interests will be undermined if the watchdog pushes ahead with its preliminary decision to increase returns for four appellant water companies.
What would the risks and rewards be of disgruntled water companies asking Ofwat for an interim determination on the back of the CMA's surprise take on cost of capital in its initial findings? Colm Gibson, managing director at Berkeley Research Group, suggests Covid-19 could give adequate grounds.