Water price rise could cost big users £30m

The water bills of large users will rise by a total of £30m if plans in The Office of Water Services’ (OFWAT) price review are put into effect, the Utility Buyers’ Forum (UBF) has warned. The UBF, which represents the UK’s leading utility purchasers, such as Boots, GKN and Sainsbury’s, says the review is prejudiced […]

The water bills of large users will rise by a total of £30m if plans in The Office of Water Services’ (OFWAT) price review are put into effect, the Utility Buyers’ Forum (UBF) has warned.

The UBF, which represents the UK’s leading utility purchasers, such as Boots, GKN and Sainsbury’s, says the review is prejudiced against large users and threatens exporters’ competitiveness.

The regulator’s price review, which ends this month, is expected to cut prices by 15% for most water users. But the UBF pointed out that large users, such as the chemicals and steel industry, are subject to seperate tariffs based on the future replacement costs of the water they use.

The UBF says that efficiency savings made by the water industry have not been passed on to large users. It is calling for a transparent charging system, consistency of tariff setting across all classes of users and a standard method of costing.

The water regulator has promised to meet the forum in early 2000 to discuss charging.