11 May 2007 | Paul Snell
A consultation is under way to improve competition for water customers.
Water regulator Ofwat is inviting views from business, the water industry and government on a series of measures it hopes will improve customers' ability to switch supplier. It follows the publication of a report in April, in which Ofwat admitted attempts to stimulate rivalry in the industry had so far failed (News, 26 April).
The watchdog is proposing to change the rules covering how water companies sell licenses to third-parties, who are then able to sell water on to businesses. Suggestions include removing fees third-parties have to pay suppliers, and requiring suppliers to provide more detail about the licensing services they provide.
Ofwat said it hoped to implement guidance soon after the consultation period ends on 1 June.
Earlier this week the regulator was described as having a "limp attitude" towards the water industry by the Committee of Public Accounts, which said "it has paid little heed to the interests of water users".