Blog Hero Water Tower - Copperleaf Decision Analytics

Written by: Stefan Sadnicki

Helping Water Companies Address Ofwat’s Expectations for Strategic Planning Frameworks at PR24

UK water companies are preparing their business plan submissions for the 2024 price review (PR24) period. To ensure that companies develop the highest-value plans focused on long-term delivery, Ofwat recently outlined several key areas that must be addressed in upcoming submissions. Copperleaf® has significant experience helping UK-based water companies meet these expectations. Here’s how the Copperleaf Decision Analytics Solution supports PR24:

1. Programme Optimisation Over the Long Term

Ofwat expects all investment proposals to be justified, well evidenced, and focused on delivering long-term value. Business plans for the next period must be developed in the context of long-term targets and strategy, instead of relying on artificial constraints or deadlines that can result in sub-optimal spending decisions.

Copperleaf Asset™ provides the ability to forecast and analyse long-term asset investment needs across any asset group or system. Clients can develop asset strategies based on their preferred groupings, such as asset class, geographical location, or catchment, and bundle assets into logical intervention groupings. These asset strategies are developed using Copperleaf’s predictive analytics capability and provide an asset-level view of cost, risk, and service performance.

With Copperleaf Portfolio™, water companies can develop plans over the short and medium term, driving better investment decision making as part of business-as-usual activity. Together, Copperleaf Asset and Copperleaf Portfolio enable water companies to establish a continuous investment planning and management process for the short, medium, and long term. Water companies can build on business plans from the previous planning cycle and highlight variances between what was planned and delivered.

Asset managers can track delivery of the plan and monitor variances in both spend and outcomes, providing agility during delivery of the plan to adapt when things change and take advantage of outperformance opportunities. Initiatives that were funded during the previous period and carried over to PR24 can easily be accounted for, to ensure customers are not at risk of paying twice across price control periods.

2. Consideration of a Wide Range of Options

Companies must demonstrate that they considered a wide range of potential investment options and explain why the options chosen will deliver the best value to stakeholders and the environment. Copperleaf allows companies to evaluate a full range of intervention options and understand how each option impacts both short-term risk and long-term resilience.

Companies are expected to explore demand-side and supply-side options for water resources management plans 2024 (WRMP24) and consider a wide range of risk mitigation options for drainage and wastewater management plans 2024 (DWMP24), including nature-based solutions, catchment-scale schemes, and traditional grey infrastructure interventions. The Copperleaf solution enables companies to easily demonstrate how the options selected will impact customers, the environment, and society, as well as deliver on long-term goals.

3. Best Value Planning Using Robust and Efficient Costs

Ofwat expects companies to provide high-quality evidence to support their investment decision making and demonstrate that cost and benefit valuations were applied consistently across WRMP24, DWMP24, and PR24 business plans. The Copperleaf Value Framework enables companies to evaluate diverse financial and non-financial investments on a common economic scale. This drives consistency in decision making and establishes a clear line of sight between long-term objectives, day-to-day operations, and the decisions that enable the strategy to be delivered.

Additionally, Copperleaf’s Cost Estimation capabilities provide improved project costing and cost control across the investment portfolio. Clients such as Anglian Water use Cost Estimation to model both traditional financial costs as well as the capital carbon and operational carbon associated with an asset’s full lifecycle.

Delivering low carbon, low-cost solutions does not happen by chance. Having a single system where we can input the information required and then retrieve the data from one source in terms of carbon and cost has been an integral part of the success of our carbon journey.

David Riley
Head of Carbon Neutrality
Anglian Water

4. Adaptive Planning to Address Future Uncertainties

Ofwat expects companies to develop adaptive plans that provide visibility and accountability around how long-term strategies will change in the face of future uncertainties. Companies must demonstrate that they have considered a variety of scenarios—including a number of common scenarios that have been developed collaboratively in the sector—to optimise investment needs against a range of likely futures.

The Copperleaf solution enables planners to develop investment plans that consider future uncertainty such as customer behaviour, climate change, and intervention performance. This ensures that the strategy delivers the highest possible value and meets current targets, while planning for the future. As the plan is delivered and uncertain factors are firmed up, the Copperleaf solution allows one of the alternate pathways and associated investment plans to be promoted for subsequent periods.

Please reach out if you’d like to discuss how Copperleaf can help your organisation plan and deliver on PR24.