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The ‘customer balance’ – an initiative to promote transparency in the water industry

Prices for drinking water are subject to increasing scrutiny from the media, public, competition regulators and politicians.

Published in: energie wasser-praxis 12/2010 – DVGW (German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water) Jahresrevue (annual review)

As a natural monopoly, the water supply and distribution sector is subject to particular scrutiny, especially due to the general rise in costs of supply and price differences between regions.

So the sector is under particular pressure to justify its price policies. The general public discussion takes insufficient account of structural and performance differences.

With the aim of making the debate around this issue more objective, the BDEW responded to an initiative from the consumer advice association by developing the ‘customer balance’. This instrument helps to inform and educate interested parties, as well as assisting the sector’s public image and benchmarking processes.