Research: The Water and Sewerage Undertakers (Exit from Non-household Retail Market) Regulations 2016 PIR: RPC Opinion (Green-rated)

Regulatory Policy Committee

May 21
14:56 2024

The regulations gave water companies the option of exiting the retail market by transferring their non-household customers to one or more retailers, to enable all business customers in England to choose their water and sewerage.

As originally submitted the PIR was not fit for purpose because the recommendation to keep the policy in place did not align with the evidence presented and the inter-relationship between this and preceding regulations needed clarifying. The PIR is now fit for purpose after being revised in response to the RPCs initial review notice (IRN).

The PIR lays out transparently where the policy has not achieved its objectives or where there have been unintended consequences.The PIR states that a cost-benefit analysis has not been conducted at this stage because the market is not mature enough but, following the RPCs initial review, now clarifies better the relationship between this policy and the Water Act 2014. To support this, it includes an initial assessment of the Water Act, but the RPC would advise that a full PIR for the Water Act is produced and submitted for scrutiny in due course.

Published 21 May 2024

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