Water firms are to bring forward more than £400M of work into this financial year, it has emerged.
Regulator Ofwat last autumn announced it would allow the companies to shift work between asset management periods where this helps smooth the workflow for contractors.
Water minister Dan Rogerson has revealed the total amount expected to be brought forward into the current period, in answer to a written Parliamentary question.
“In responding to incentives that Ofwat introduced in its methodology for the price review, water companies have stated in their business plans that they are bringing forward around £440M of investment into 2014-15 to smooth the investment profile,” he said.
“This investment will improve the delivery of service outcomes to customers, support the supply chain and enable efficient delivery.”
Water companies body British Water says that up to 40,000 jobs are lost every five years as investment dips at the end of each five-year regulatory period.
Past ICE president Richard Coackley, who is also chairman of industry body the Water Cyclicality Report Implementation Group, told NCE last October the existing system, where spending cannot be smoothed out, was inefficient.
“You lose talent and knowledge from the industry and this helps to increase inefficiencies,” he said. “You are starting from scratch each period.”
Will bringing £440M of water spending forward help the construction industry, or is it a drop in the ocean? Tell us your thoughts in the comments box below.