Ofwat

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Defra's strategic policy statement to Ofwat for the next price review is a missed opportunity, Water UK has said. The trade body representing the water sector warned that the lack of clarity and direction could run the risk of vital spending being deferred to a later review, which would be harmful for customers' bills and the environment.
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Ofwat has said it won't yet make adjustments to outcome delivery incentives that may have been impacted due to Covid-19 and lockdowns. The regulator set out the draft in-period payments for each company but said there is not yet sufficient information to make an in-the-round decision about how performance has been hindered.
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Ofwat has launched the second round of its innovation competition by inviting bids from across the water sector and beyond to find solutions to common challenges that benefit customers, the environment and wider society. Up to £39 million will be available across the two streams of the competition.
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Utility Week Innovate and industry experts from the likes of Thames, Northumbrian and Yorkshire Water dived into challenges posed by managing tens of million data points across vast networks with ever-changing technology as industry-wide CSO targets loom.
Analysis
Projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during wastewater treatment, minimise harm to waterways, and an at-scale water neutrality scheme are among the winners of Ofwat's £35 million innovation fund to encourage collaboration on common challenges in the sector.
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Yorkshire Water has called for an independent body to be established to set the cost of capital for each regulated sector and a simplification of performance commitments in the PR24 price control.
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Northumbrian Water will combine the advantages of digital and face-to-face platforms for inspiration and problem solving at its fifth Festival of Innovation. The company’s CIO Nigel Watson tells UW Innovate how the mix will allow the company to build on the impressive legacy of its first four events.
Interviews
Thames Water has received provisional approval from Ofwat for an extra investment of £600 million during AMP7 to increase resilience in London with leakage and pipework improvements. Shareholders will pay half the costs as a condition for the scheme being approved.
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After changes were proposed to Code for Adoption Arrangements, Ofwat has written to water companies to encourage them to ensure more consistency between their own staff, contractors and self-lay providers (SLPs). SLPs voiced concerns that their accreditation expectations versus water company staff posed a barrier to competition and made it more difficult for workers to move between employers
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Thames Water has agreed to pay £11 million to non-household customers and water retailers after inaccuracies in its data provided to the central market operating system in 2017 led to inaccurate usage calculations and bills. Ofwat imposed a nominal £1 fine to reflect the compliance of Thames in improving its systems.
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Utility Week hears initial thoughts from the water sector on the first draft of Defra’s strategic policy statement to Ofwat, with commentators warning that it lacks the detail required to trigger the investment needed at PR24 if the government is serious about tackling river pollution and decarbonisation.
Analysis
Ofwat has reviewed and reflected on performance and feedback from PR14 regulatory period that showed the impact introducing outcome incentives had on sector-wide performance and lessons to learn as PR24 business plans are set
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