The journey of our plan

January 2013 Discover, Discuss, Decide consultation

In January 2013, we invited everyone to have their say on the future of water services. Nearly 5,000 people responded and what we learnt helped us to shape a proposed plan which we published in summer 2013.

July 2013 Shaping our future

In July 2013, we published our proposed plan to maintain and improve services while making sure average bills increased by no more than inflation.

We asked you to help us check we had got the balance right between looking after your water supply, protecting the environment and preparing the region for the challenges of growth and climate change while keeping bills affordable.

We were delighted that over 90% of customers we surveyed felt our proposals were acceptable and the feedback we received help us prepare our final plan in winter 2013.

Our December 2013 plan

In December 2013 we published our final plan that delivered the same outcomes we set out in July while holding increases in average household bills to no more than half the rate of inflation between 2015 and 2020. At the same time the independent Customer Engagement Forum submitted its assurance report to Ofwat. Find out more by downloading the documents.

June 2014 responding to feedback from Ofwat

Early in 2014, we received feedback on our final plan from Ofwat, our economic regulator. It set out new guidance around some of the financial assumptions it wanted all water companies to use in their plans. It asked us to update our plan to follow this guidance and respond to its feedback.

When thinking about how best to do this, we worked closely with the independent Customer Engagement Forum and surveyed over 1,200 customers. This helped us make sure our plan continued to deliver the priorities you told us are important for customers, the environment and the economy.

In the updated plan, we made some changes to the way we are financed, used new information from Ofwat about financial assumptions and made some changes to our proposals for metering. Compared to the plan we published in December 2013, our June 2014 plan:

  • phased our work to proactively replace old water meters over a longer time period helping to spread the cost of this work
  • refined our plans on smart metering - we had planned to introduce over a million by 2020 but we will now do more trials to help us better understand how to get most benefit from smart meters
  • changed our performance incentives so we’d pay greater penalties if we fail to deliver our plan and receive greater rewards if we deliver our plan well.

Our updated plan at a glance:

October 2014 responding to Ofwat’s Draft Determination

Ofwat published its Draft Determination in August 2014 setting out where it accepted our updated plan and where it still felt changes were needed or it wanted further information. It invited us to raise any concerns and provide more evidence about why we think it should change its mind when it made its Final Determination in December 2014.

Ofwat’s Draft Determination made changes to:

  • the balance between how much customers pay in the next five years and how much they pay after 2020
  • how customers’ bills are phased over 2015 to 2020
  • the way our performance is assessed and incentivised.

When deciding how best to respond, we worked closely with the independent Customer Engagement Forum and surveyed 600 customers to make sure the changes we ask Ofwat to consider are supported by customers.

We wrote to Ofwat to set out the changes we believe were needed and to provide additional evidence to support our case.

Setting out the changes

December 2014 Ofwat’s Final Determination

Ofwat published its Final Determination in December 2014. Following careful consideration we decided to accept the Determination. We published our recalibrated Outcome Delivery Incentive rates as required by Ofwat.

 

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