We are on track to open the non-household retail market for water and sewerage services in April 2017. All partners in the Open Water
programme (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
, Ofwat and Market Operator Services Limited), are strongly committed to meeting this date. A clear timetable of the activities, which will need to be completed before the market can open, is published on Ofwat’s website and updated each month. Market Operator Services Limited is working closely with all relevant companies to ensure that they will be ready for market opening in April 2017. Incumbent water companies who want to compete in the new national retail market will need to establish a separate legal entity and apply for a Water and Sewerage Supply Licence, although they are not under any obligation to do so. Ofwat sought views on the appropriate conditions for licensees operating in the new retail market through its consultation on new Water and Sewerage Supply Licences in June 2015. It will be able to impose financial penalties on licensees who do not comply with these conditions.