Over the past year we've been consulting with you and working with the industry, to get views, discuss and gain insight as part of developing our new approach to charging.
In April 2017 we held our first focus groups, where we gained the opinion of a mix of new appointments and variations, developers, self-lay providers and consultants during two workshops. We also followed this up with a questionnaire so those that were unable to attend the focus groups could share their views.
Both the focus groups and questionnaire provided valuable feedback and insights on the current charges and how these need to work in the future.
There were three main themes that came out of the research.
- 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.
- In relation to income offset and asset payments, the majority of developers, self-lay providers, 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.
You can read more in our new charging consultation document (PDF 1,458 KB opens in a new window) which outlines our existing charges, the guidance and legislation provided to us from Defra & Ofwat and our proposed new charging framework following this first phase of consultation.
Refining our approach
We haven't stopped there. It's important that we get this right and keep consulting with you and getting your feedback at every step of the way.
Since our focus groups in April we've been developing and testing our new proposed charging framework. In early August we held a further focus group to get feedback and to give an update on progress and our new proposed charging framework.
We've now collated all the data from the August focus group and have used this to shape the output of our new connections charges.
We're in the final stages of developing the new charges scheme for new connections and shared some indicative charges with you at our annual developer day back in October 2017. You can view the presentation slides and also our frequently asked questions asked on the day.
Keep an eye out for further news and developments and thanks to all those that have participated in our workshops and consultations.
What happens next?
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.