PC21 mid-term review

Northern Ireland Water (NI Water) is currently in its fourth price control period, PC21.  This covers the six-year period from April 2021 to March 2027.

PC21 is the second of our longer duration price controls and whilst this provides benefits in terms of providing extra time for efficient planning and delivery, it also introduces a degree of uncertainty associated with planning over the long term, particularly in an environment where funding confirmation occurs on an annual basis.

We therefore included the provision for a mid-term review in our PC21 final determination:

  • So that the company’s investment proposals could be reviewed and if necessary, amended as a consequence of any changes that might have occurred in the first half of the price control period;
  • To allow us to undertake a determination for elements of the investment programme which were insufficiently developed for us to do so previously;
  • To provide an opportunity for us to undertake an interim assessment of the company’s delivery against its commitments for the price control period;
  • To allow the outcome of work completed in the early part of the price control period to be used to inform delivery proposals for the remainder in the period; and,
  • To allow us to review NI Water’s progress in delivering the key development outputs required to support its investment planning for PC27. 

Our PC21 mid-term review approach explains how we intend to carry out the mid-term review and the timescale to completion.  It builds upon the outline proposals included in our PC21 final determination and explains the extent and scope of the work that will be undertaken through reference to specific elements of our price control determination.

A draft version of the approach document was previously published for consultation on the 27 March 2023.  This provided an opportunity for consumers and stakeholders to comment on our proposals and to inform the final approach adopted for the mid-term review.  We did not pose any specific questions as part of the process, but instead invited stakeholders to express views on any particular aspect of the proposed approach that they wished to.  Consultation responses were received from NI Water and CCNI.

We considered the comments received from the consultation process as we finalised our approach and we have summarised how we dealt with them here.