Citizens Advice response to Ofwat’s consultation: PR24 and beyond
Citizens Advice has statutory responsibilities for representing energy and post consumers in Great Britain, and we also advocate and provide advice for consumers on cross-cutting issues. We have focussed our comments on cross-sector, economy-wide issues which are not unique to water but play a key role in this price control. The issues we have focused on are common to a number of essential service sectors where we believe that consumer outcomes could be improved.
We note that a number of these issues, particularly regarding the rate of return allowed to regulated companies, have been subject to appeals to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in recent years. We believe the regulatory approach to components of the allowed rate of return should be coordinated across sectors. This will be more efficient and should provide greater clarity and consistency for all stakeholders. Ofwat has the opportunity at the outset of a new price control review process to examine and progress this, rather than continue with the more standard process.
Nonetheless, whatever the process for PR24, it is important that the outcome fully reflects the developments that arise from the recent CMA appeals in water and energy.