TOP NEWS: Ofwat delays price plans reveal until after UK election

(Alliance News) - The water regulator Ofwat on Friday said the publication of the consultation on ...

Alliance News 24 May, 2024 | 11:39AM
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(Alliance News) - The water regulator Ofwat on Friday said the publication of the consultation on its draft price control determinations for the water sector will be delayed until after the upcoming UK general election.

The announcement had been expected on June 12 but will now be made on July 11, one week after the general election.

On Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called a general election for July 4. This has prompted some legislation to be delayed.

Ofwat said the decision was in line with Cabinet Office Guidance.

Ofwat sets price controls for the water sector every five years to ensure the industry delivers effectively for customers and the environment.

The price controls set as part of its 2024 price review will still come into effect on April 1, 2025, despite the later publication date for its draft determinations.

In September and October 2023, United Utilities Group PLC, Severn Trent PLC and Pennon Group PLC set out business plans to the regulator.

United Utilities, which supplies water and wastewater services in North West England, outlined a "hugely ambitious" plan for GBP13.7 billion in total expenditure across the period. The plans will support 30,000 jobs, of which 7,000 are new, United said.

The plan aims to safeguard supplies for three million households, and reduce combined sewer overflows by 60% in the decade to 2030. It also targets a 25% improvement in avoiding pollution incidents across the five-year period.

Pennon Group's South West Water also submitted its five-year business plan to the regulator. It comprised a GBP2.8 billion package of capital investments, which will target storm overflows and pollution, water quality and resilience, delivering net-zero and environmental gains, and keeping bills affordable for customers.

Severn Trent, which supplies water across the Midlands and Wales, announced plans for GBP12.9 billion in spending across the five-year period.

The plan includes GBP5.0 billion of investment focused on enhancing capacity and service beyond current levels.

Severn Trent said it would be a "sustainability-led" plan including a 30% reduction in storm overflow spills, a 30% reduction in pollution, and a 16% reduction in leakage.

Shares in Severn Trent were down 1.1% at 2,475.00 pence each on Friday. Pennon was down 1.7% at 607.50p and United Utilities fell 1.5% to 1,008.50p.

By Jeremy Cutler, Alliance News reporter

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Pennon Group PLC 610.00 GBX 1.58 -
Severn Trent PLC 2,441.00 GBX 1.41 -
United Utilities Group PLC Class A 993.40 GBX -1.64

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