Competition in the Water Industry part 2
In a number of countries there is already an element of competition, as the water utilities are privatised and compared through regulation. That regulation can be quite exacting, and companies who are in the bottom of the 'league tables' for performance can suffer significant penalties.
In the UK changes being proposed include increasing the number of business customers who can chose supplier by lowering the de minimis amount supplied per day, expanding business competition to wastewater as well as supply (it is linked at present), and vertical separation of parts of the water utility, such as billing and customer services. These proposals are laid out by Ofwat, the UK water economic regulator in various documents (e.g. http://www.ofwat.gov.uk/hlg/prs_web20130308hlgfrmwk.pdf). It is also possible that 'insets' may increase: these relate to new areas not previously served by an existing Water Company, or to 'large' commercial customers, or where an existing supplier agrees to transfer an area to a new supplier. In the regulatory proposals (draft Water Bill, June 2012) companies will be able to operate on the basis of a single national authorisation from Ofwat, thus greatly simplifying the process of companies expanding their market.