Utility Week Live, 22nd - 23rd May 2018


Water leaders tackle PR19

What do you want from PR19?

With the next price review just two years away, water companies are starting work on their business plans. Ofwat has warned it will be a tough review, with the regulator set to be “less forgiving” of low quality business plans. PR19 is top of the agenda at Utility Week Live, with a dedicated session looking at the details of the next price review, and the challenges it poses for water companies.

With just days to go until Utility Week Live, we asked ten of the show’s speakers what they want from PR19. Here’s what they told us:

John Russell, senior director of strategy and planning – Ofwat

“Through PR19 we’re looking for companies to aim high and challenge themselves to go further for customers. Showing more ambition than ever to deliver great customer service, long-term resilience, fair and affordable bills and innovative ways of doing things.”

Mark Worsfold, director of asset management – South West Water

“Our plan will need to consider the needs of customers today and the future to ensure our services remain efficient, resilient, affordable and deliver great customer service. We will balance the needs of our customers, the environment and our stakeholders whilst ensuring customer bills remain affordable.”

Paul Horton, chief executive – Future Water Association

“A more sustainable and resilient water sector, working with the water supply chain to deliver innovative solutions and the infrastructure to meet the challenges we face, at a cost affordable to current and future generations.”

Tony Smith, chief executive – Consumer Council for Water

“We want to see clear evidence that customers’ views and expectations have played a leading role in shaping commitments on price and service quality at every stage of the price setting process. PR19 also needs to be a defining moment in securing a resilient and reliable water sector for current and future generations.”

Nick Mills, head of wastewater innovation – Thames Water

“A plan that looks beyond five years, and includes more innovative solutions and large-scale demonstrations that push the boundaries, delivered with a mix of direct procurement contracts and traditional investment and delivery.”

Andy Brown, head of sustainability – Anglian Water

“PR19 is our chance to secure a future that protects customers, the environment and the economy for the long term. We know that our proposals must be underpinned by robust customer engagement. That’s challenging, as we’re dealing with complex, long-term issues that aren’t always easy to engage on. But we’re on it - the stakes are too high not to get it right.”

Bob Stear, head of innovation – Severn Trent

“A result that delivers what’s important to customers – they pay the bills – and is fair to future generations.  To deliver this, the sector is going to have to be more innovative than ever before – and this has to be exciting for everyone involved in our sector.”

Siobhan Kennedy-Hall, business development manager – water2business

“In an ideal world, water2business would like to have simpler and/or uniform tariff structures across all wholesalers and appropriate challenges to wholesale costs from PR19.”

Michael Roberts, chief executive – Water UK

“I would like PR19 to create a framework which aligns delivery of better services, affordable prices and sustained investment in the next five-year planning period and beyond.”

Niki Roach, director – Uros Consulting

“I’d like to see water companies incentivised to deliver results for the wider environmental system they have an impact on. Embedding systemic thinking into their day to day totex decision-making would be a fantastic step forward for customers and the environment.”

The best industry exhibition I have ever been to. Thought provoking, interesting, good networking, with a positive feel to the whole event… it was excellent!

Jacob Tompkins OBE, Managing Director, Waterwise