Ofwat updates application form and guidance for WSSL

Ofwat has updated the water and sewerage supply licence (WSSL) application form and the accompanying guidance document to include information on:

  • an option to apply for a wholesale or supplementary authorisation;

  • further guidance on Ofwat’s the three requirements against which applications are assessed (managerial competency, financial stability and technical competency; and

  • self-supply applications.

Fuller guidance on self supply compared to the March document includes notice that assessment of self-supply applications are likely to take longer than the indicative 40 days for a WSSL application. Ofwat said this arises from the requirement for amendments to the published WSSL standard licence conditions and a subsequent 28 day consultation. The regulator said it would aim to process such applications within 90 days.

The new guidance lists also exclusions of three standard WSSL conditions and a modification to one under self supply. Excluded are the requirement for arm's length transactions, submission of an annual certificate of adequacy and adherence to the customer protection code of practice. The requirement on a licensee to provide information to Ofwat is modified with the inclusion of an additional requirement for the licensee to publish a list of associated persons/sites that will be supplied under the self-supply licence.

Wholesale or supplementary authorisations allow applicants to introduce water into an appointed water company’s network – subject to compliance with the Drinking Water Inspectorate’s requirements. Applicants looking to provide a wholesale service to customers served by appointed water companies based wholly or mainly in England must hold a WSSL with a wholesale authorisation. To supply customers that are served by appointed water companies based wholly or mainly based in Wales, twill require a supplementary authorisation. The new guidance includes a note of the modification

  • Business Stream, Pennon Water Services and Thames Water Commercial Services were this week the latest firms granted WSSLs. It is understood that Thames Water ’s acquisition of a licence – coming despite its departure from the market – could be a backstop for the unlikely event of its exit application not being accepted.

  • And Invicta Water has