It’s common sense that businesses, in particular, will want to know if they can expect any changes to their incomes or expenditure.
With the opening of the water market in Scotland and England and the growing trends to ‘switch’ to the best energy supplier, businesses are becoming savvier about utility spending in general. With the impact of Brexit on many people’s minds, what can the water industry and its customers expect?
While questions remain about the long-term investment of the water industry, there’s no suggestion that there will be any impact on the supply of drinking water and the removal of wastewater for businesses or homes in the UK.
There is nothing to currently suggest that the price of business water services will be directly impacted by the UK leaving the EU. The tariffs and charges applied to water services in different areas of the UK are wholly controlled by UK Water Network Owners, in accordance with rules set out by Ofwat in England and the Water Industry Commission for Scotland.
The Water Industry Commission for Scotland has already stated that Scottish Water, the Water Network Owner in Scotland, will be permitted to increase its wholesale charges at no more than consumer price inflation minus 0.3% per year over the period of 2015-21. Ofwat review price limits every five years.
Regarding the long-term future of the water network, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has been a large provider of finance for the UK water sector. Britain’s exit from the EU and ultimately the EIB, which is owned by the EU member states, could reduce the availability of finance for the sector in the longer term. This could impact future projects to upgrade network infrastructure but would be very unlikely to affect the day-to-day activities of the water industry and its customers.
As the picture around Brexit continues to become clearer, Castle Water will be there to provide its customers with the clearest information available. We care about the future of the water industry and about making sense of the influences upon it.