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Clause 31 will amend the Water Industry Act 1991 to require Ofwat to enter additional information into its public register. Subject to direction by either the Secretary of State or Welsh Ministers with regard to commercially sensitive information, Ofwat must publish notice of reductions of charges between an incumbent water company and another party payable where someone agrees to reduce pressure on water and/or sewerage networks. The clause concerns agreements on bulk supplies, water supply licensing, main connections and sewerage licensing.
We want to increase transparency around charging. That will provide customers and other parties, in particular licensees, with valuable information on how to receive a discount. Making that information available on the Ofwat website will stimulate a market for water efficiency services and help to reduce waste. Individual provisions will create incentives for customers and new entrants to work with incumbent water companies, to take steps to reduce water usage during peak times or drought and to reduce pressure on sewerage networks during periods of heavy rainfall.
It is right that information on such agreements is publicly available to show best practice and to stimulate the development of new services. Therefore, I call for the clause to stand part of the Bill.