Northumbrian latest to go to CMA over final determination
Northumbrian Water has asked Ofwat to refer its PR19 final determination to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for review stating that it is “contrary to the long- term best interests” of its customers and “doesn't provide for sustainable investment going forward”.
In developing its business plan for the PR19 price review, the water and sewerage company says it extensively consulted with almost half a million of its customers in order to understand their priorities clearly.
This consultation identified that customers’ key priorities were efficient costs and assurance that water and wastewater services would be robust, deliverable and resilient for the future.
In a statement, the company said: “This customer feedback was then directly embedded into NWL’s business plan, resulting in significant bill reductions and a focus on efficient and necessary investment in the long term to help to mitigate the impact of climate challenges such as flooding in the north east and drought resilience in the south east. Following detailed review of the PR19 final determination that Ofwat set for NWL, the company firmly concluded that firstly it falls well short of what customers clearly stated were their priorities and secondly it would adversely impact the long term financial resilience of the company.
“The Board of NWL is unanimous in its conclusion to seek the only redress it now has available in the regulatory process, being an independent review by the CMA.”
Commenting on the decision, chief executive officer, Heidi Mottram CBE said: “NWL is a high performing and efficient company with a long track record of delivering for our customers and protecting the environment. We have listened carefully to our customers in the development of our business plan. Our assessment of the PR19 final determination is that it is contrary to the long term best interests of our customers and doesn’t provide for sustainable investment going forward, to the detriment of all our stakeholders. We have therefore asked Ofwat to refer the PR19 final determination to the CMA for review.”
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