The new guidance will allow developers to choose who fits water meters and mains and service pipes, rather than having to rely on the local water company to do it.

It sets out the principles that water companies must follow when deciding their individual procedures for allowing developers to lay pipes and encourages water companies to be transparent when making charges.

Beryl Brown, Ofwat’s head of competition policy said: “Allowing developers to choose who fits meters will encourage more competition in the laying of pipes and provide an added incentive for water companies to improve their efficiency.”

Ofwat first issued guidance on ‘Competition in providing new water mains and service pipes’ in March 2002. The updated version takes into account changes in legislation arising from the Water Act 2003, as well as other changes in the market place.

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