Household water retail will disappoint if "overly optimistic" Ofwat is believed

The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) has warned that customers would end up disappointed were the introduction of household water competition to be based on Ofwat’s “overly optimistic review.”

The customer watchdog urged Ofwat to clarify which of the four scenarios that emerged from its analysis was the most likely one. CCWater said it was “crucial” that the regulator makes clear to government what it believes would be the most likely outcome.

CC Water said it has has challenged some of the “more positive assumptions” the regulator made in its assessment of the costs and benefits of giving customers choice of retail water supplier.CCWater said the savings available to customers – estimated by Ofwat at as little as £8 a year – would not persuade many people to switch supplier.

And CC Water said that many vulnerable customers were unlikely to take part in the market and so could lose out on even the small gains available.

CC Water chief executive, Tony Smith (pictured), said: “If household competition is to be introduced we want to see a market in which customers are actively switching their supplier or renegotiating with their current supplier to get the best deal on price and service. We do not want to see the water sector experience the same problems that have affected the energy market.”