FWC represents the interest of its members in facilitating fairness in the way that competitive water connections are offeredFWC is a not-for-profit organisation which draws on volunteered time so that it can support worldwide provision of safe water services
Regulation and the Role of Ofwat
The view of FWC is that Ofwat has been far too slow in working through the issues which continue to prevent the competitive water connections market fully functioning across England and Wales. Their tardiness, and not being sufficiently forceful with water companies means that, to us, they are failing to fulfill their duty to, wherever appropriate, promote effective competition.Whilst, in April 2016, when they published a document covering enabling effective competition which outlined their intentions to address the issues we, and others, had reported a year later there is little sign of Ofwat led progress. So we continue to loby Ofwat about the difficulties SLPs continue to face in many water company areas.The Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) are responsible for regulating water companies and ensuring that they;-•charge in accordance with the Water Industry Act; and,•do not abuse any dominant position they hold in their local competitive water connections market.Although we recognise that Ofwat has responded to a few of our concerns by having 'conversations' with some water companies and have set-out best practice 'Trust and Confidence' guidelines they have not;-•accepted more that a single Competition Act challenge or followed through on issues identified in their Bristol Water investigation;•speedily investigated determinations that specifically relates to on-site self-lay works;•tackled service connection fees (covering administration and other activities) even though they know that many companies charge in excess of the amounts Ofwat has determined, in a company specific case, is reasonable;•steered the introduction of meaningful service standards covering all self-lay activities;•recognized that failure by water companies to publishing information on their self-lay practices demonstrates 'exclusionary behaviour' towards self-lay competition; and,•established any metrics to determine whether the 'ultimatum' they said they gave water companies in the autumn of 2014, which included the need to treat SLPs as customers and to ensure that good service standards were delivered, is actually improving the service developers receive via SLPs.Hence we continue to have regular meetings with the Ofwat Senior Director of Customers and Casework, to both press for action and to tell them about the continuing practices FWC members routinely encounter which show how self-lay provision is being disadvantaged against mains and services provided by water companies themselves.