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Water Act 2014

Section 17: Rules about charges for connections etc

124.This section inserts new sections 144ZA to144ZB into the WIA. New section 144ZA permits Ofwat to publish rules about charges which may be levied by water undertakers and sewerage undertakers for connections to, and the provision of, water mains, public sewers and some associated infrastructure. Ofwat is also required to revise the rules, where necessary, if the Secretary of State or the Welsh Ministers issue revised charging guidance under new section 144ZD (see below and also see section 38 of this Act which inserts section 144ZE of the WIA (general guidance on charges)). These rules replace certain existing provisions in the WIA relating to various financial requirements that may be imposed by a water undertaker in return for that undertaker carrying out its duties or obligations under the sections amended by sections 18, 19 and 20 of the Act. The rules may include charges that may be imposed, and methods for their calculation, as well as provision as to security that may be required. The section gives Ofwat a power of direction, enforceable under section 18 if Ofwat thinks an undertaker is not acting in accordance with the rules.

125.New section 144ZB requires Ofwat to have regard to ministerial guidance issued under section 144ZD and to consult relevant persons on its rules. Ofwat must specify the consultation period in which consultees may comment. Within 28 days from the end of that consultation period, the Secretary of State or the Welsh Ministers may direct Ofwat not to issue the rules where the rules affect undertakers wholly or mainly in England or Wales respectively. The rules may not be published before these 28 days have elapsed.

126.New section 144ZC outlines the procedure that Ofwat must follow when it considers that revisions it intends to make to rules are minor or urgent in nature.

127.New section 144ZD requires the Secretary of State and the Welsh Ministers to produce charging guidance to Ofwat on charges imposed by undertakers wholly or mainly in England or Wales respectively. The Secretary of State and the Welsh Ministers are required to consult each other and relevant persons on their respective guidance.

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