Business case development

Comprehensive, integrated end-to-end solution to ensure robust and effective delivery of price reviews.

Regulatory price reviews in the UK utilities sector are a crucial part of ensuring that companies providing essential services, such as electricity, gas, and water, operate fairly and efficiently. These reviews are essentially a structured process that regulators use to determine the prices these utility companies can charge their customers. Regulatory price reviews are a method to strike a balance between fair returns for utility companies and reasonable costs for consumers. They aim to ensure that essential services are accessible, affordable, and dependable for everyone in the UK.

The challenge with developing business cases

Regulatory outcomes: Developing plans that show ambition in improving service to customers whilst remaining affordable is essential. Linking performance, risk, and investment with a compelling narrative is key.

Data collection and reporting: Gathering, organizing, and reporting comprehensive financial and operational data to regulators accurately can be a significant challenge. Ensuring that all costs are properly accounted for and justified is crucial.

Cost assessment: Forecasting how much it costs to provide services, including investments in infrastructure, maintenance, and operational expenses is a challenge.

Investment planning: Deciding where and how much to invest to meet regulatory and customer expectations while managing costs can be a fine balancing act.

Customer and stakeholder engagement: Engaging with customers and stakeholders, including consumer groups, is essential. You must demonstrate how you are considering the interests of consumers and the broader community in your pricing and service delivery plans.

Economic and market conditions: Anticipating external factors like fluctuations in energy prices and economic conditions and planning accordingly.

Technological advancements: The utility sector is evolving with technological advancements, such as smart technology and AI. Adaptation and planning for these changes ensures they remain cost-effective while providing great service.

Environmental and sustainability concerns: Meeting environmental regulations and sustainability goals is a growing challenge. Companies must invest to protect the environment and face into the net zero challenge.

Uncertainty: The regulatory landscape is not static, and changes in government policies or regulatory approaches can introduce uncertainty. Companies must remain flexible and adapt to these changes.

How we can help

Aqua Consultants offer a comprehensive, integrated end-to-end solution to support industry clients with price reviews, harnessing our expertise in asset management, strategic advisory, engineering, commercial, and project services to add significant value, and ensure robust and effective delivery. Our services include:

  • Thought leadership in preparing for price reviews, understanding the clients needs and proposing strategic approach to set the path for success.
  • Development of service delivery policies that provide a line of site form the long-term ambitions through to in period delivery.
  • Development of risk-based prioritisation methodologies to understand both current and future risk positions across the asset base allowing for informed decision making
  • Understanding of asset health and the links to service performance developing totex solutions for managing into the future.
  • Strong client relationships understanding the key needs and ability to translate into strong business / enhancement cases to meet that need.
  • Leverage the expertise from across the Aqua family to provide detailed technical knowledge at every stage of the plan.
  • Detailed optioneering and cost development to inform decision making and demonstrate best value for the customer.
  • Support the collection and preparation of data for population of data tables with clear methodologies, commentary and audit plan for quality assurance purposes.
  • Provide independent challenge to plans, playing the role of critical friend to make sure plans are stretching, yet fair.
  • Foster and instil confidence in the price review process throughout the client organisation.

CMA support

We have a range of experience supporting business plan submissions on cost, efficiency, cost structuring and benchmarking in PR09 and PR24 and have acted as expert witness and generated reports in PR14 and PR19.

Our advisors can provide strategic and procedural guidance while you lead your case with robust evidence. We can assist you in a number of ways through the CMA process, including:

  • Acting as CMA expert witness and producing expert witness reports
  • Challenging engineering and regulatory logic
  • Checking consistency of business cases
  • Benchmarking approaches, costs, and efficiency
  • Enhancing and developing data transparency
  • Improving technical information

Here to solve your biggest challenges and grow sustainable value

Our expert consultants are available to broaden your thinking, lead transformation, and help you achieve successful outcomes.

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