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Office of Water Services -Government Department


Office of Water Services OFWAT - Protecting the interests of water customers


About the Office of Water Services - OFWAT

The OFWAT vision
Their vision is for a water industry that delivers a world-class service, representing best value to customers now and in the future.

The OFWAT mission
Their mission is to regulate in a way that provides incentives and encourages the companies to achieve a world-class service in terms of quality and value for customers in England and Wales.

What do OFWAT do?
The companies OFWAT regulate supply most households in England and Wales. They set price limits at a level that allows well-managed companies to finance the services they deliver. They 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.

OFWAT set a limit on the average change that companies can make to your bill in each year. They last set price limits in December 2004 for the five years 2005-06 to 2009-10. Each year OFWAT publish a water and sewerage bills leaflet setting out the price limits and the effect they have on the average bill. Average bills since privatisation (1989-90) have increased to allow companies to finance improved quality standards and service levels. The increase would have been far greater if the companies had not become more efficient in response to regulation. We require companies to make demanding efficiency improvements and we give them incentives to outperform them. Companies pass these benefits of efficiency on to customers, which results in bills being lower than they would be otherwise.

In 2005 the average daily cost for water and sewerage services is 76p for households. A litre of tap water, supplied and taken away, costs just 0.17p. OFWAT check that individual charges are fair to different types of customers – metered or unmeasured customers, large users or small users, and those in towns or in rural areas.

Your water bill will vary depending on where you live. For details of average household bills across England and Wales, see ht eOFWAT 'Water and sewerage bills' leaflet. The next price review will take place in 2009.


Centre City Tower,
7 Hill Street,
B5 4UA

Telephone: +44 (0)121 625 1300
Facsimile: +44 (0)121 625 1400