Only three out of 17 water firms in England and Wales have passed the latest review by regulator Ofwat. All firms had to submit plans to cut bills for millions of consumers over the 2020-25 period, while reducing leaks and helping vulnerable customers. Most failed to meet the regulator’s requirements.
Ofwat have challenged all water companies to deliver more for less for customers over the next five years. The sector now needs to meet this high standard so that customers across the country get better and more efficient services. However…
Are we missing the Point?
Should we be pushing for lower prices?
The real price of water that the UK economy is paying for is the 40 year downturn in our manufacturing and subsequent export revenues – this is an increasing reliance on the ‘artificial cost cutting’ of goods and services in a foolish attempt by governments to ‘buy’ votes based on so called ‘fiscal expediency’. There are many long-term problems with this short-term policy, many of which are currently being paid by suppliers and contractors who are being forced to provide goods and services at below cost (hence Carillion, Serco, Interserve etc) – but will ultimately also be paid by the general public who whilst at present are ‘being sold the lie and accepting the benefits’ will get the ‘real’ bill when the failing infrastructures finally break and requires 00’s £billions to update! By this time of course all the bosses in the industries, regulators and government will have either moved on or retired !
In respect of the water industry, I fail to see how anyone could argue that having drinking water delivered to the door is expensive at less than 0.2p per litre! The fact is that it is not possible to produce and deliver it at this price if the ‘real’ cost of sustainable investment in the businesses is taken into account.
At the same time – it has suited the governments and finance industry not to include house prices and associated rents in the cost of living data which actually represent a far more significant cost of living burden and a bigger reason why some struggle paying their utility bills.
What the government regulators and industries should also consider (if any of them had a conscience and any sense) is that caught up in all this stupidity are innovative businesses such as ours who offer real and sustainable long-term solutions but are being financially discriminated against by these fools and foolish policies who are effectively disrupting the market.
The success of any economy outside of plundering natural or historic business resources will depend on generating an innovation and manufacturing export base, and whilst countries such as China will invest and move quickly to achieve this, I am afraid that if the quality of many of our current business and government leaders does not change then it will be a case of ‘the last one out turning off the lights’ !
The good news however for our WPT existing and potential customers is that we have nothing to be gained by being dishonest – and when the real price of water, energy and food becomes apparent – the value to you of our technologies will be even greater!
by Phil Selwyn – Technical Director – Water Powered Technologies