Water UK welcomes new connection rule change but warns of complications

Water UK has launched a complex consultation on the implementation of the rules adopted by Ofwat in December 2016 on charging for "new connections". The association has highlighted potential inefficiencies arising from the less prescriptive new regulations which are scheduled for implementation in 2018.

Water UK said water companies welcomed the replacement of the complicated and “much criticised” previous rules with a principles-based approach.

But it warned that the latitude companies now have to take thereon approach to new connections rules could “disadvantage developer customers and other providers of infrastructure such as Self Lay Providers and inset appointees.”

Water UK went on to say: “The inefficiencies of having to de

al with very differing approaches to charging and even from the use of different terminology could be considerable and could negate some of the advantages of increased simplicity and transparency offered by the new rules.”

Water UK’s consultation seeks' views on a broad range of issues including the comparative merits of different approaches to charging. It includes also the means to produce a “simplified, consistent approach to comparisons of charging before and after implementation of the new rule.”

Economics consultancy Reckon will publish the outcome of the consultation on the Water UK website. Water UK said the report will provide “valuable guidance to water companies as they move towards consulting their own customers on their proposed approaches to implementing the new rules.”

Following the report Water UK said it anticipates that companies will be able to “provide more information about the financial implications for various types of development of their approach to the implementation of the new rules.”

The consultation closes on 8 May.

Links to the main consultation and appendices

Main consultation

Appendix 1 - Contestable and non-contestable items for the provision of water services infrastructure for new development

Appendix 2 - Water company proposals - water supply

Appendix 3 - Water company proposals - sewerage

Appendix 4 - Water supply test data scenarios

Appendix 5 - Sewerage test data scenarios

Appendix 6 - Standardised charging framework

Appendix 7 - Draft planning principles

Appendix 8 - Comparison spreadsheet downloads