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06 Apr 2009 05:04:24

UK water companies could cut upgrade costs by 20%



UK water companies could cut upgrade costs by 20%
Water companies in Britain would have to spend 20 percent less on upgrades to water and sewage networks if they eliminated inefficiencies in their supply chain, according to a professional services company.

The firms, which have applied to Ofwat to spend £17 billion on upgrades between 2010 and 2014, justifying a price rise, could create the same improvements for a fifth less, KPMG has said.

According to the company, the utilities are "pouring £1 million down the drain every day".

KPMG advisory partner Adeeb Dhallai told the Times that the firms are including 'gold plated' specifications for equipment which are higher than is actually needed.

Mr Dhallai said: "They can deliver their capital projects for less than the allocated budget and retain the difference to help fund better customer service levels - or possibly better returns for shareholders."

According to regulator Ofwat, 20,000 kilometres of water mains are to be replaced over the next five-year regulatory period, part of a programme of capital investments that will be paid for by a price rise of 1.1 percent over inflation.

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