We, the Office of Water Services (Ofwat), are the economic regulator for water and sewerage services in England and Wales. At the moment the functions rest formally with the Director General of Water Services. From 1 April 2006 the functions transfer to the Water Services Regulation Authority.
We make our decisions independently of the Government, but we work closely with:
- the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Welsh Assembly Government;
- the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater), which is an independent organisation that represents customers' interests and deals with your complaints;
- the Drinking Water Inspectorate, which sets standards for the quality of drinking water;
- the Environment Agency, which regulates and enforces water abstraction consents and quality standards in inland, estuarial and coastal waters; and
- Natural England and the Countryside Council for Wales, on environmental issues.
We do this by:
- setting limits on what companies can charge you;
- ensuring companies are able to carry out their responsibilities under the Water Industry Act 1991 as updated by section 39 of the Water Act 2003;
- protecting the standard of service you receive;
- encouraging companies to be more efficient;
- meeting the principles of sustainable development; and
- helping to encourage competition where appropriate.
The companies we regulate supply most households in England and Wales. We set price limits at a level that allows well-managed companies to finance the services they deliver. We set price limits that are as high as they need to be, but no higher. They will allow water companies to meet your needs and the needs of the environment while continuing to deliver a safe and reliable service.
We help to improve water and sewerage services
As a result of regulation, the industry has achieved...