After detailed consideration, the Thames Water Board has accepted Ofwat’s final determination of the company’s business plan for 2020-25.
Compared to the draft determination, it includes an increase in total expenditure allowances, up to £180 million in funding for the North East London water resilience scheme, the movement of some key performance metrics and the reduction of some Outcome Delivery Incentive penalty rates.
While the company is committed to doing all it can to increase efficiency and deliver an improved service for customers, there are some areas of concern. Ofwat’s settlement is most challenging on the water network and does not allow for essential resilience upgrades over the entire system.
Therefore, looking forward to the next price control, it will be critical that a programme to replumb London is set in motion.
A request to Ofwat to make a reference to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) was carefully considered as part of the price review process.
However, it was agreed a CMA referral would lead to significant management distraction at a time when the company is seeing improvements in customer service and leakage reduction. It was deemed to be in the best interests of both customers and employees to accept the final determination, to ensure certainty in the months and years ahead, and to move forward positively and constructively.