Summary of case
This dispute was referred to us for determination under sections 45 and 30A of the Water Industry Act 1991.
The complainant disputed the amount Affinity Water had charged them for providing a new water supply to a household property.
Summary of Ofwat’s final decision
We concluded the following:
- The connection charges are within the range that we consider reasonable
- But he administrative fees and overheads are higher than we consider reasonable.
- The complainant currently has an outstanding balance with Affinity Water with regard to the property. So no refund is due to the complainant. Instead, the amount the complainant is owed should be deducted from the amount they owe to Affinity Water.
Wider lessons for companies and customers
- We use the following two reports to inform our consideration of whether companies’ costs for providing a new water supply are reasonably incurred.
- Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) Comparative Study: Cost of new water supply connections work (Section 45 Water Industry Act 1991)
- Independent Review of Section 45 Connection Costs
- The figures included in both of these reports are benchmarks, not suggested charges. The costs companies actually incur may reasonably be higher or lower than these benchmarks.
- We investigate disputes on a case by case basis. We consider:
- the legal framework of the Water Industry Act 1991
- the evidence provided to us by the parties involved in the dispute
Section 45 of the Water Industry Act 1991
Relevant Ofwat guidance
4 November 2014
23 January 2015
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