Review of water markets publishes interim report

The interim report by Professor Martin Cave into competition and innovation in water markets is published today. The report sets out Professor Cave’s recommended measures for increasing retail competition in the water industry which could benefit customers and the economy by up to £600 million over the next 30 years and deliver considerable environmental and service improvements.

The Cave Review recommends:

  • the introduction of legislation to allow 28,000 then 162,000 large public and private sector organisations in England and Wales to choose their water and sewerage retailer for the first time.
  • retail divisions of water companies should be made legally independent from their network business.
  • a series of changes to incentivise new water and wastewater suppliers to enter the market.

These recommendations aim to reduce costs and increase service levels for all customers; support the more efficient use of water; and help companies to better meet the challenges facing the industry including climate change, containing costs, rising consumer expectations, and water efficiency.

Launching the interim report, Professor Martin Cave said:
“Extending competition will deliver real benefits for customers and the environment through lower prices, more choice, higher service levels and the better use of water. These changes could benefit the economy by around £600 million over the next 30 years.”

The final report and further recommendations will be delivered in spring 2009.

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