Utility Week

UTILITY Week 8th September 2017

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UTILITY WEEK | 8TH - 14TH SEPTEMBER 2017 | 11 Policy & Regulation ordinator says: "To us it looks perverse that Ofwat is now solely considering developer satisfaction ratings and not using D-MeX to incentivise compliance against a range of other matters, such as those aimed at greater openness and transparency, which they look to have difficulty getting established. "This is in marked contrast to the energy sector where the Ofgem incentive is designed to financially reward companies where their engagement genuinely leads to higher qual- ity outcomes which are to the benefit of all stakeholders." In addition to an Ofwat rethink, FWC is calling for the sector, through Water UK and the companies themselves, to take the ini- tiative and establish a national guaranteed standards scheme, "one which commits water companies to deliver the standards and principles that Ofwat, developers and self-lay providers have always required but so seldom receive", says Speight. In response to the FWC's comments, a Water UK spokesman says: "Water compa- nies have invested considerably in recent years to improve the services they provide for developers. The industry is committed to improving these further, in support of both the English and Welsh governments' growth agendas. We anticipate that the new system of charging for development, which comes into effect next year, will substantially sim- plify the process of providing connections for new development and will provide a further opportunity to improve service lev- els. Water UK has been leading work to help ensure that the new system meets customers' expectations. "Water UK voluntarily established a detailed reporting system to monitor com- pany performance and improve the delivery of services to developers. This has been inde- pendently audited and shows a clear upward trend in performance levels since the system was first introduced. "The sector will be working closely with Ofwat to provide assistance with how to best implement the new developer satisfaction measure, D-MeX. As Ofwat recognises, this new measure will complement rather than replace the existing Water UK performance reporting regime." Ofwat firmly believes that D-Mex will encourage companies to improve their ser- vice. Ashley says: "When SIM was introduced there was a big jump in terms of performance just by the fact we were incentivising it, par- ticularly the worst-performing companies, which really improved their service, then the top ones improved more gradually. We expect that just by incentivising it, compa- nies will improve quite quickly. That's what we will be aiming for – that companies, to do well, have to improve their service quality to developers, self-lay providers and NAVs [New Appointments and Variations]." With regard to Speight's call to use D-MeX to address issues around competi- tion, Ashley says: "This is feedback we will take into account as we look to go forward with D-MeX. We did see D-Mex originally as addressing the issue of poor quality of ser- vice to customers and that's what our focus was. It wasn't aimed to do with this issue, but that feedback will feed into our thoughts going forward." Whether or not it goes all the way towards addressing developers' frustrations, D-MeX is certainly a departure for the sector. If its impact is anything like that of the SIM, it will create a culture change that can only benefit developers – particularly as, with the proposed financial incentives – poor per- formance will hit the bottom line. Speight and the builders represented by HBF will be watching closely. DEVELOPER SERVICES LEVELS OF SERVICE PERFORMANCE – % WITHIN TARGET AND ACTIVITY LEVELS WATER SUPPLY (APR - JUN 2017) DEVELOPER SERVICES LEVELS OF SERVICE PERFORMANCE - % WITHIN TARGET AND ACTIVITY LEVELS WATER SUPPLY, ROLLING YEAR TO DATE Volumes Volumes Bournemouth Severn Trent Anglian Dwr Cymru Southern South West United Utilities South East Dee Valley Thames Industry average Wessex Yorkshire Portsmouth Bristol Water Affinity Sutton & East Surrey Northumbrian South Staffs Source: Water UK This report Industry average Volumes Upper quartile: 99.12% Lower quartile: 95.78% Upper quartile: 98.86% Lower quartile: 97.00% 33,000 30,000 27,000 24,000 18,000 15,000 12,000 9,000 6,000 3,000 0 99.73% 97.71% 99.47% 99.26% 99.20% 99.12% 98.89% 98.77% 98.61% 98.47% 96.86% 95.59% 96.10% 95.78% 95.76% 95.34% 94.64% 94.16% 97.50% 98.18% 140,000 126,000 112.000 98,000 84,000 70,000 56,000 42,000 28,000 14,000 0 Southern Dwr Cymru Severn Trent South West United Utilities Sutton & East Surrey Dee Valley Portsmouth South East Bournemouth Anglian Thames Wessex Industry average Yorkshire Northumbrian South Staffs Bristol Water Affinity 99.57% 99.28% 99.23% 99.04% 98.86% 98.84% 98.81% 98.36% 98.18% 98.17% 98.10% 98.03% 97.93% 97.00% 96.04% 95.38% 94.93% 93.08% This report Industry average Volumes Source: Water UK

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