Today we published our new code for adoption agreements. These are the agreements that developers or self-lay providers enter into when they want an appointed water and sewerage company to take over responsibility for infrastructure they have constructed.
We have developed a single code that covers the adoption of both water and sewerage infrastructure. The Code sets a framework of overarching principles within which companies must deliver adoption agreements. It also places obligations on companies to work with their customers to develop, agree and maintain sector guidance.
The Code will provide greater clarity, consistency and certainty for developers and self-lay providers in how they can enter into adoption agreements, which in turn should make the process more straight forward and quicker for them.
The sector guidance and model adoption agreements will each take the form of two documents, one for water and one for sewerage, which will set out the processes that water and sewerage companies will follow for making, varying or terminating adoption agreements. Our Code also sets out the minimum requirements for these documents, including information and publication requirements, when deviations may be permitted and governance arrangements.
We expect water companies to submit a recommendation for water sector guidance and a model water adoption agreement by 1 October 2018 and sewerage sector guidance and a model sewerage adoption agreement by 1 April 2019.
To ensure there is no delay in benefits from other requirements of the Code we also expect water companies to clearly publish details of their current procedures for making, carrying or terminating adoption agreements by 15 January 2018 and provide customers with appropriate redress if they fail to meet current minimum levels of service by 2 April 2018.
Emma Kelso, Ofwat’s Senior Director – Customers and Casework, said:
“This is an opportunity for the sector to demonstrate its commitment to providing a good customer experience for developer services customers, which in turn will support the Government’s objective of housing growth. This code will enable developers and self-lay providers to have greater clarity, consistency and certainty in how they enter into adoption agreements when they would like a local water or sewerage company to take on responsibility for new infrastructure they have constructed.
It will help ensure there is a level playing field for self-lay providers who compete with monopoly providers in the new connections market, allowing developers to enjoy the benefits that competition can deliver. And critically it will enable water companies’ existing customers to continue to be confident that their company will only adopt quality, resilient infrastructure.”
Ofwat Press Office:
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