As part of developing our new approach to charging, we've held focus groups to gather industry opinions and feedback, as well as providing an online questionnaire.
We gained the opinion of a mix of new appointments and variations, developers, self-lay organisations and consultants during our workshop.
The qualitative research we carried out provided a discussion around stakeholders’ thoughts and feelings towards the current charges and a platform for them to ask any questions they may have had.
The quantitative research backed up the insights gained from the qualitative research and included opinions from others not present at our workshops.
Following this we've put together our consultation document which outlines our existing charges, the guidance and legislation provided to us from Defra & Ofwat and our proposed new charging framwork.
Conclusions and recommendations
Following our consultation we will now be using the conclusions and recommendations, as set out below, to help shape the approach to our new charging framework.
- There are concerns around our current charges which are based around uncertainty with infrastructure charges and the lack of clarity and accuracy surrounding charges in general.
- Definitions are clear surrounding site-specific and non-site specific although clarification is needed around network reinforcement.
- Standardised fixed charges for connections and infrastructure are considered clear and simple for developers
- The majority of developers, self-lay organisations, new appointments and variations and consultants prefer a per plot calculation followed by a fixed percentage.
- In order to minimise risk where exceptional costs could materialise and ease the transition period for developers we need to be as clear and transparent as possible.
All water and wastewater companies will need to comply with these new charging rules and to ensure that the new charging frameworks and rules are fair and transparent, Water UK has undertaken their own industry consultation.