Complaint against Bristol Water about the reasonableness of connection costs


Case number


Summary of case

This dispute was referred to us for determination under sections 45 of the Water Industry Act 1991.
The Complainant disputed the amount Bristol Water had charged them for providing a new water supply to a residential premises.

Summary of Ofwat’s final decision

Ofwat considered that the actual costs for a standard single connection were reasonably incurred by Bristol Water. The cost of £199.22 were under the minimum charge which we would expect is reasonable for this type of work.
Ofwat also considered that the administrative fees and overheads charge of £105 were reasonable. We concluded that there was no refund due to the Complainant.

Lessons for companies and customers

  • Ofwat uses the Hyder Report and the independent review of section 45 administration fee and overhead costs to inform our consideration of whether companies’ costs for providing a new water supply are reasonably incurred.
  • 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.

Relevant powers

Section 45 of the Water Industry Act 1991

Relevant Ofwat guidance

Charging for new connections

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

Date opened

01 March 2016

Date closed

16 August 2016

Key documents

Final determination for case OFW-0016254.


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