The Utility Regulator today published its draft determination on NI Water’s price control (often referred to as PC10) for 2010 to 2013. It includes the Regulator’s assessment of NI Water’s revenue requirements over the three year period.
The proposals provide for over £500 million of investment by NI Water to benefit customers and the environment, subject to the public expenditure allocations that will be set by the NI Executive. (see note 2 below)
Through efficiency and other savings, the draft determination proposes that NI Water’s revenue requirement could be reduced by as much as 11%, whilst also improving services to consumers.
Commenting on the proposals, Utility Regulator Chief Executive, Iain Osborne said:
“At the heart of our proposals is a determination that Northern Ireland consumers receive value for money water and sewerage services. This would reduce the burden on the public purse and would also reduce the overall bill for Northern Ireland businesses by over £40 million. But this is not just about delivering savings. It is about investing smarter and more efficiently to deliver services that everyone can have confidence in.
“These proposals present an enormous opportunity for NI Water and its staff. We welcome NI Water’s aspiration to be the most improved water company in the UK. We support that ambition and the draft determination is a pathway for achieving that.
“The level of efficiency savings are challenging but deliverable and are a result of a detailed analysis of NI Water’s costs and performance. This is the most robust review ever taken of NI Water’s costs - taking into account both appropriate benchmarks and other relevant factors, including making allowance for extra costs that are specific to Northern Ireland.”
Mr Osborne concluded:
“This is new ground for water and sewerage services in Northern Ireland – the first regulated price control. We very much hope that all interested parties will engage with us during the forthcoming consultation.” (see note 3 below)
The Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (the Utility Regulator) is the non-Ministerial Government Department responsible for regulating the electricity and gas industries and water and sewerage services in Northern Ireland.
2. Examples of the benefits include: activities to improve security of supply, reduce instances of poor pressure and sewer flooding, reduce the pollution of rivers and bathing waters and to further improve the already high quality of drinking water.