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Work of Ofwat

Inquiry

In October 2023, water companies submitted their business plans from 2025 to 2030 to regulator Ofwat. Amid widely-reported concerns around underinvestment in infrastructure and the resulting impact from pollution, Ofwat has said it will be seeking to ensure value for money for future investment from these plans, under which customers’ bills are expected to rise.

The Committee’s 2016 report on economic regulation of the water sector found that, due to Ofwat’s consistent overestimation of water companies’ financing and tax costs, companies made windfall £1.2bn gains between 2010 and 2015 from bills being higher than necessary. The Committee also warned in 2020 that Ofwat, as well as Defra and the Environment Agency, had “taken their eye off the ball” in ensuring a reliable water supply in the years ahead.

The Committee will be scrutinising the work of Ofwat at this pivotal point for the sector in a one-off session. Likely topics for discussion include:

• How Ofwat will help ensure a financially resilient market, a fair deal for customers, and safeguard the environment;

• Support for vulnerable customers with bill rises;

• How regulation will be enforced.

If you have evidence on these issues, please submit it here by 23:59 on Monday 13 November 2023.

Please look at the requirements for written evidence submissions and note that the Committee cannot accept material as evidence that is published elsewhere.

The Committee cannot investigate individual cases. If you need help with an individual problem you are having, you may wish to contact your constituency MP.