10th Annual Meeting of the Water Sector (Berlin, 2011):
BDEW: Further development of benchmarking projects
BDEW: Benchmarking projects have successfully developed within the German Laender
"During the past few months, politicians have clearly rejected a control of water prices and charges by cartel authorities or municipal supervisory authorities and a regulation of the water sector. This agreement in terms of content between politicians and the sector also leads to the water sector's obligation to advance efforts for increased transparency with regard to water prices and to further extend our benchmarking projects", Wulf Abke, Vice President Water/Wastewater of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft - BDEW) said at today's 10th Annual Meeting of the Water Sector in Berlin.
"It is clear for us that regulatory approaches will stalemate as far as the water sector is concerned. But we as water industry cannot come to a halt with this correct ascertainment. Customers require today more transparency in the light of different price levels. We must explain these differences in a convincing manner", Abke said. An appropriate instrument to this end was the Customer Balance which enabled every water supply utility to show the service and quality which it guarantees under the respective local conditions, and to explain to the customers the price differences possibly resulting from these conditions. In the framework of particular events in the different German Laender, BDEW continues to win the companies over to a participation in this transparency instrument.
BDEW intended to extend benchmarking, i.e. a comparison of performance indicators between companies. "Benchmarking projects have successfully developed within the German Laender. A growing number of companies of the water sector participate in benchmarking. It is seen in positive terms that Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia advocated benchmarking and a combination with the Customer Balance and give preference to this instrument over cartel law measures. But we must not rest on this success but carry on performance benchmarking. It is essential to actively gain a larger number of participants", the BDEW Vice-President said. Companies having participated in benchmarking projects took a very positive view on this experience.