This conference discussed the next steps for water market reform in England.
Ofcom’s 2019 Price Review (PR19) set expectations for the water industry to increase investment while ensuring affordable bills for customers, delegates considered how the wider aims of Water 2020 and protecting customers could be met while managing the trade-off between developing innovative technologies and keeping costs down for the end user.
Discussion included the concerns highlighted by the National Audit Office report into protecting utility consumers, which found that Ofwat sets broad high-level aims such as high quality and good value services, but without measurable targets.
Delegates examined potential concerns relating to water company business plans, with Ofwat’s initial assessment finding only three of 17 water companies having sufficient plans to be designated ‘fast track’ firms.
With all of the PR19 draft determinations published on the day of the conference, delegates discussed issues around the deliverability of the plans, resilience and the scope of measures to improve customer experience.
Further sessions looked at environmental and infrastructure priorities into the future, including tackling longer-term challenges around sustainability and climate change following the draft National Policy Statement which sets out water infrastructure needs in light of population growth, economic growth and increases in both flooding and drought- as well as how to promote investment.
It followed the publication of the draft Environmental Bill, which outlined plans to improve water resource management, and the National Infrastructure Commission’s report on England’s water infrastructure needs which considered ways to reduce leakage.
Price: £95 PLUS VAT
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