New Appointments and Variations (NAVs)

What is a NAV?

New appointments and variations (NAVs) are limited companies which provide a water and/or sewerage service to customers in an area which was previously provided by the incumbent monopoly provider.

A new appointment is made when a limited company is appointed by Ofwat to provide water and/or sewerage services for a specific geographic area. A new appointee has the same duties and responsibilities as the previous statutory water company.

A variation is where an existing appointed company (an “appointee”) asks Ofwat to vary its appointment so it can extend the areas it provides services to.

A NAV, therefore, involves one company replacing another as the appointee for a specific geographic area.

More information can be found about getting a new appointment or variation.


Map showing example of new appointee area. 8 new appointees have entered the market serving 100 sites and 61,000 customers


This picture illustrates how a new appointee’s area of appointment could relate to that of existing appointees.

NAVs provide competition in a market which is inherently monopolistic. This can provide a number of benefits for society, end-customers and developers. The benefits include serving a site at a lower cost, facilitating multi-utility developer service and encouraging innovation.

The scale of the market is relatively modest. Because of the wide range of benefits NAVs provide, we are actively encouraging an effective market through evidence-based policy. We have published a number of policy initiatives and documents with this aim, they can be found in the NAV publications section of the website.

A list of NAV appointees and our table of relevant NAV documents and links can be found in the boxes on the left-hand side of this page.

You can subscribe to receive updates to the NAV register.