Ofwat tenders for consultants in review of NAV market as concern persists

Ofwat has unveiled plans to to review the market where developers and heavy users are able to choose their monopoly supplier of water and/or wastewater services following persistent stakeholder concern.

The regulator has issued an invitation to tender for consultants to assist it in its investigation into how the New Appointments and Variations (NAV) market is working. Ofwat said NAV applications have increased in recent years but the scale of the market remained small with only eight new entrants and 68 NAV sites granted – manly for residential or mixed use developments.

Ofwat said: “We have made a number of changes to our NAV policies and processes in recent years to improve the effectiveness of the market. However, stakeholders continue to express concerns about the operation of the market.”

The regulator plans to:

probe any issues in the market;

consider the extent to which current initiatives and policy developments may help to address those issues; or

identify areas where its full range of regulatory tools, including its competition law powers might be necessary.

Ofwat anticipated that most of the information gathering and analysis will be done during the first quarter of 2017.