In November 2004, the Office of Water Services (Ofwat) will set price limits for water and sewerage companies in England and Wales for the five years 2005 – 2010. To inform this process, government and regulators have to decide what investment should be made to maintain or improve the water environment, drinking water quality and customer service. These decisions need to take account of customers’ views.
For this review, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Welsh Assembly Government, Ofwat, WaterVoice, Environment Agency, Drinking Water Inspectorate, English Nature, Wildlife and Countryside Link and the water companies through Water UK agreed to conduct joint research.
MVA, in association with WRc, undertook the research with a large, national survey in September and October 2003. A representative sample of more than 6,000 customers (90% bill-payers) was achieved.
The research informed stakeholders and decision makers on customers’ priorities for the water industry in England and Wales by providing:
- A better understanding of what combination of existing and potential service levels would best meet customers’ requirements at a company level in the context of possible bill changes.
- An overview of the company area findings, which analyses and draws conclusions at a national and regional level.