Albion Water v Ofwat (Bath House) [2006] CAT 7

Competition Appeal Tribunal judgment (83 pages, PDF) in the dispute between Albion Water and Ofwat relating to the terms offered by Thames Water for access to its network for Albion to supply the Bath House site. See Water access CAT cases for background.

The Tribunal decided that Ofwat had made no appealable decision on whether Thames' first access price offer constituted a price squeeze. It also ruled that the question of whether Thames should pay Albion for a reliable supply of excess water had not been sufficiently raised in the complaint to warrant its inclusion within the scope of Ofwat's inquiry or of the appeal. It set aside Ofwat's decision that Thames' proposals for asymmetric treatment of overs and unders other than bulk supplies (e.g. seasonal variations) was not an abuse, on grounds of lack of reasoning, because Ofwat had relied on a misconception that the overs would be unpredictable, and on the alleged existence of significant "balancing and buffering costs" whereas there was no evidence of any such costs arising from the provision of access to Albion. No aspect of the case has been remitted to Ofwat as the coming into force of the Water Act 2003 has changed the rights and obligations of the parties and the issues will have to be considered afresh.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under Article 82, CAT, Ofwat, Water.

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