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Water UK response to PAC report

Responding to the publication today of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on regulation of the water industry, Water UK’s Chief Executive, Michael Roberts, said:

“The PAC report’s headline conclusion does not do justice to the good work for customers achieved and planned by water companies. The sector needs to be judged not only by a full picture of what happened in the period examined, but also by what they have committed to do in the next five years.

“The independent consumer body, CCWater, identified that water companies had provided over £1 billion of additional benefits between 2009 and 2014, including additional investment into the areas which matter most to customers, such as reducing the risk of sewer flooding, improving resilience and reducing leakage.

“Over the next five years customers will see sustained high investment to improve services alongside a 5% average drop in prices. At the same time one million more people will be helped to pay their water bills.

“In considering the report’s findings, Government and Ofwat need to avoid acting in ways which might undermine the confidence of investors who have underpinned the improved level of service delivered by water companies in the last 25 years.”

…ends…

Notes to editors:

1. Water UK represents all major statutory water and wastewater service supply organisations in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. We work at national and European level on behalf of our members and the interests of all our stakeholders.

2. Over the current 5 year regulatory review period from 2014-2019 customers will benefit from:

• a 5% average drop in water bills,
• one million more people receiving assistance through schemes to help them paying their bills
• £44billion of investment to improve services, improve resilience and improve the environment
• the industry pressing for customers having an even greater say in the setting of prices in the future.

3. Recent research by CCWater shows that 94% of customers in England and Wales are satisfied with their water supply, while three quarters believe they are getting value for money from their water company. Both figures show an increase on previous year’s results.

Water UK Communication
020 7344 1844

PAC report
Ofwat statement