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. Historically their tardiness, and not being sufficiently forceful with water companies has meant that, to us, Ofwat have been failing to fulfill their duty to, wherever appropriate, promote effective competition. It also means that companies have been getting away with showing disdain towards self-lay competition.Ofwat have now equiped themselves, with their Adoption Code which mandates (English) companies to:-•Publish all the information (forms, guidance etc.) SLPs need to work in their area; and,•To have an appropriate Redress scheme for when water companies fail to deliver; and,•Produce (by January 2019), in full consultation with stakeholders, Codes of Practice and Adoption Agreements which Ofwat has to approve before they get introduced.We welcome this Ofwat Code, as it contains much of what we have been seeking, and now wait to see whether Ofwat forces companies to comply and our reading of their Code requirements.Whilst, in England, the new, local, connection charging rules are now in operation we do not have any feel for how companies justify their charges (against the test of broadly maintaining previous customer contribution levels) or how they will now change year on year. We can but hope that the next round of consultation is more open and cover all the charges companies impose.To ensure that Ofwat knows of our continuing unease about the practices our members continue to encounter which shows how self-lay provision is being disadvantaged against mains and services provided by water companies themselves we have had a series of meetings with the Ofwat Senior Director of Customers and Casework.