The House of Lords Industry and Regulators Committee will continue its inquiry on the work of Ofwat, the water regulator of England and Wales, by taking evidence from its former Chair, Jonson Cox, from 10.30am on Tuesday 6 September.
The Committee will discuss how to ensure future water supply in the context of the ongoing drought in many areas of England and Wales, and question whether the Government and the regulator achieve the right balance between allowing environmental investment and ensuring consumer bills are affordable, as well as how to support those struggling to pay their water bills. The Committee will also consider the performance of water companies and whether the regulator has held them to account sufficiently.
Possible questions include:
- What sorts of strategic solutions are needed to ensure future water supply? Should solutions such as compulsory water metering and water transfers be considered?
- How does Ofwat find a balance between allowing water companies to invest in the environment and ensuring consumer bills remain affordable? Is more guidance needed from the Government in this area?
- Should a single social tariff be introduced covering all water companies in England and Wales, so that the same support for those struggling to pay their bills is available regardless of postcode?
Do water companies truly fear the consequences of regulatory action, and if so, is this fear a financial or merely reputational one? Are stronger sanctions needed for failing companies?