PC21 is our fourth price control for NI Water.  It covers the five-year period commencing 1 April 2021.

PC21 Overall Approach

We published our Approach document for the PC21 price control in July 2018.  This described the four phases of our process and detailed the key milestones associated with each phase.

The first three phases were delivered to schedule, concluding with the submission of NI Water’s Business Plan on the 31 January 2020. COVID19 however impacted our ability to progress the assessment of NI Water’s Business Plan.  As a result, the publication date for our draft determination for PC21 was moved to the end of September 2020 to provide sufficient time for us to properly assess the company’s submission.

The remaining milestones were also adjusted and the publication date for the final determination was subsequently moved to 13 May 2021. Key stakeholders were notified of the necessary changes to the timeline during the process.

Our ‘minded to’ Approach to Efficiency

A key role of the Utility Regulator is to promote the efficient delivery of services to consumers by monopoly suppliers such as NI Water through its price controls.  We do this by benchmarking NI Water’s costs against comparable companies taking account of special factors such as the scale of the company and the local economy.  We also consider how the efficiency of comparative companies might move over time.  This work allows us to set achievable but challenging targets. 

Our PC21 Opex ‘minded to’ Methodology and PC21 Capex 'minded to' Methodology were published and sent to the company on the 15 March 2019 following a period of consultation.  More detailed approach papers were also shared concerning: