Licence modifications for new water competition regime

Ofwat response and decision document (39 pages, PDF) on licence amendments for incumbent water companies in connection with the implementation of the Water Act 2003, following consultations in December 2004 (100 pages, PDF) and June 2005 (HTML). Amongst other matters, the document sets out Ofwat's view that the Water Act 2003 provides a sufficient basis for the imposition of binding non-statutory access codes guidance on companies.

The proposed licence amendment (7 pages, PDF) introduces two new conditions. Condition R requires undertakers to produce and comply with an access code conforming to Ofwat guidance, and imposes new obligations relating to discriminatory treatment of competing suppliers or their customers, within-group trading and data confidentiality. Condition S requires compliance with a customer transfer protocol to be served by Ofwat on the company; Ofwat released a consultation document (Microsoft Word, 114 pages) in October 2004 on this protocol.

There is a provision to disapply condition R for Albion and for Cholderton and District, insofar as they do not operate relevant facilities, and Ofwat has announced that it does not intend to serve the customer transfer protocol on such companies.

The licence amendments come into effect on 15 September 2005. Ofwat will consult on licence fees (for both suppliers and undertakers) later.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under Ofwat, Water.

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