Please see below for links to webinar slides and recording, PA report and response questionnaire
The research was commissioned by the Metering Committee - which includes water retailers, wholesalers, CCW, Ofwat and MOSL - in response to ongoing concerns about the accuracy and timeliness of consumption data in the market.
The wide-ranging research by PA Consulting considered roles and responsibilities in relation to meter assets, meter reading, asset data and meter technology.
A long list of 12 options was identified, from returning the responsibility for reading meters to wholesalers to transferring the ownership of the meter asset to retailers. A high-level benefit analysis was carried out for each in relation to water companies, retailers and customers.
Trading parties and other stakeholders are invited to give their feedback to help determine which options to take forward to the next stage for more detailed consideration.
Water meters play a critical role in the NHH market, from ensuring settlement and customers’ bills are accurate and identifying customer leaks, to helping drive water efficiency and enabling retailers to develop innovative tariffs.
Roles and responsibilities relating to water meters have implications not only for wholesalers - who own the meters - but also for retailers and customers, who need to read the meter and access the data that they provide. The division of roles and responsibilities therefore determines retailers’ and wholesalers’ processes and how they work together in relation to meters and meter data.
Claire Yeates, Strategic Director for Waterscan and sponsor of the strategic programme on behalf of the Metering Committee said: “Five years on from the opening of the market, we are keen to ensure the current roles and responsibilities are working for trading parties and customers.
“It could be considered, for example, that the decision to shift responsibility for reading meters from wholesalers to retailers, which seemed logical at the time, made the process more complicated and increased the cost of reading meters for some companies. We have kept all options on the table at this stage and are keen to hear stakeholders’ views or suggestions of any options we might have overlooked, or any that are non-starters.”
MOSL’s Chief Information Officer, John Davies, added: “We appreciate that there will be lots of different views and perspectives on how the current roles and responsibilities could, or should, be changed. To help prompt debate and discussion the report groups the options and gives an indication of potential ranking, but no decisions have been made at this stage. Everyone will have an opportunity to input at every stage of the process as we report back and consider next steps.”
Christina Blackwell, Head of Business Customers at CCW, added: “Over 70% of business customer complaints in the retail market relate to billing and charges and this has consistently been the main issue driving complaints. Businesses want to be accurately billed on the amount of water that they use. This report will start the important debate about the options that can be explored within metering and what it will mean for businesses.”
Have your say
MOSL is running an engagement and consultation period until 29 July (extended from 22 July), during which companies are invited to complete and return comments via this online form (or Word template).