PR19

Latest in PR19

Ofwat has confirmed that water company performance against per capita consumption targets will not be calculated until the end of the 2020 to 2025 regulatory period to best assess how Covid-19 has affected progress. Other performance payments have been calculated for 2020/21, with Severn Trent receiving the largest outperformance payment of £25 million and Thames receiving the largest underperformance deduction of £53 million.
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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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CCW has set out what it believes PR24 should include to reflect consumer wishes and rebuild trust in the sector. It said fast-track status should only be granted to companies that deliver on promises, that consumers need to feel more listened to in the process, and that centralised research should be carried out.
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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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The Ofwat director heading up PR24 has urged water companies to put forward bold solutions in the next price control but emphasised these must be set in a long-term context. Aileen Armstrong, senior director at the regulator, stressed the need to look beyond heavy infrastructure as the answer to all problems but accepted that this would come at a cost. She said she expected companies to look at spreading these costs over current and future generations.
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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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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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The trade body for the water sector has set out its thinking on Ofwat's proposed framework for the next price review in 2024. Water UK urged it to reflect the CMA's thinking on cost of capital to keep the sector appealing to the long-term investors it requires for necessary major infrastructure projects
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United Utilities earned fast-tracked status for its PR19 business plans, which chief executive Steve Mogford says put the business on the front foot to deal with the pandemic year. He talks to Utility Week about how the company has improved its performance and reflects on the need for a simpler price review process, as well his view that CSOs are the next big challenge.
Interviews
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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The publication of the Competition and Market Authority(CMA)'s water redeterminations justify why a record four companies sought an appeal. With gains made on all sides Utility Week explores what has been won and lost.
Analysis
The CMA has set the cost of capital for the four water companies that rejected their price review last February. The new figure of 3.2 per cent is closer to Ofwat’s final determinations than the CMA's provisional findings in September.
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