Thames 'remains committed' to PR19 plan despite setback
Thames Water has said it is concerned it will be more difficult to meet the "needs and expectations" of its customers after Ofwat marked its PR19 plan for significant scrutiny.
The company's plan had involved a record £11.7 billion investment, including £2.1 billion to boost resilience and reduce leakage, and it said in September that its submission had been approved by seven out of ten customers.
However, while Ofwat said there were "some high-quality elements" of the plan, it determined that it "falls significantly short of high quality in a number of areas", including cost efficiency and long-term resilience.
Thames Water chief executive Steve Robertson said: “Thames Water is disappointed with today’s announcement from Ofwat on our £11.7 billion five-year business plan, which is built on the feedback of nearly one million customers.
"We remain committed to our forward-looking plan, which prioritises investment over everything else – including shareholder dividends.
“The plan includes significantly increased investment, to tackle issues that really matter to customers such as leakage, pollutions and resilience, while keeping average bills flat. It also supports job creation and regional economic growth and will deliver a four-fold rise in financial assistance to families in vulnerable circumstances.
“We are seeking Ofwat’s permission to invest more in areas where we know it is needed. Instead, it appears that we are being asked to reduce our current levels of spending. We are concerned that this will make it harder to meet the needs and expectations of our customers, amid the challenges of population growth and climate change.
“We’ll now study the feedback in detail and look forward to engaging constructively with Ofwat throughout this process.
“We are pleased that Ofwat has recognised the improvements in our reporting and transparency of information by promoting Thames to a higher category in the annual Company Monitoring Framework.”
- Anglian Water throws down gauntlet to innovators Anglian Water has challenged innovators to create the water company of the future. Through the Water Innovation Network... Read More >
- Water bills set to rise to pay for infrastructure spend, warns NAO Water bills could rise significantly to pay for investment in infrastructure along with the costs of maintaining and... Read More >
- Martin Baggs to stand down as Thames Water chief exec Thames Water has announced that Martin Baggs has decided to step down as chief executive during 2016. Read More >
- The end of 'business as usual' in the water sector? James Connolly, head of partnerships at digital asset and works management company eviFile, assesses the message coming... Read More >
- Ofwat's assessments keep water companies in check The regulator's initial assessment of water companies' business plans reveals that a tight financial settlement is on the... Read More >
- Ofwat's PR19 assessments: How the industry reacted After Ofwat published its initial assessments of water companies' business plans for 2020-25, we look at the responses... Read More >
- Offsite build powers South East Water's £22M treatment works expansion South East Water's expansion of Bray Keleher Water Treatment Works is in full swing, with offsite manufacture aiding... Read More >
- Comment: Capital Maintenance comes to the fore The tight cost of capital set by Ofwat for PR19 will mean water companies will need to place the emphasis on maintenance... Read More >