What is Self-Lay & How Does it Work?
It is surprising how many Residential & Commercial Developers are not aware they can now choose who they appoint to install the water infrastructure on their developments. The days of having to appoint the host water company, through no other choice, have long been over. Developers also have the option to appoint a self-lay organisation to carry out the work this is known as ‘Self-lay’.
The developer will normally have to enter into a formal tri-partite agreement involving himself, the water company, and the self-lay organisation (“SLO”), and if the SLO then installs the new network in accordance with the terms of the agreement the host water company is obligated to take over responsibility for the new network and adopt it in the normal way.
Once the agreement is in place, the appointed SLO is then free to carry out all mains installation, all service pipe connections, all necessary testing and commissioning, and hand the completed network over to the host water company for adoption. At this stage the water company is further obligated to pay you an asset payment. The amount to be paid is always detailed within the agreement, and is paid because otherwise the water company would be acquiring an asset for free.
After the water company has adopted the new network they become the owners and are thereafter responsible for its maintenance in the traditional way.
Ofwat has laid down strict guidance for water companies on how self-lay should work, and as a result all water companies have an easily accessible self-lay policy, and most are now promoting self-lay as a viable and beneficial alternative to requisitioning.
What are the benefits of Self-Lay?
Appointment of a specialist self-lay organisation will allow you to focus more time on building and selling property.
The 3 main benefits to be had are:
- Potentially making substantial cost savings – please refer to the Cost Case Study below as an example.
- Installation of Water mains and service connections completed to your programme and critical dates.
- One point of contact for the entire installation.
Cost Case Study
Site of 116 residential units at Winslow, Buckinghamshire
|Water Authority||PDI Utilities|
|Service Connections Cost||50,228||28,536|
|Infrastructure Charges (Water)||41,064||41,064|
|Service Connection Admin Charge||N/A||13,688|
|Asset Payment To Customer||N/A||87,000|
|Overall Cost To Customer||114,723||40,022|
Through self-lay on this project our client saved a huge £74,701!
How to select a Self-Lay Contractor
Obviously not just any contractor can carry out self-lay water installations. The installation of water supplies are strictly controlled and highly regulated, therefore you need to be certain that any specialist supplier you approach can demonstrate the following seven key qualities:-
- Specialists in water self-lay work.
- Fully accredited by Lloyds Register under the Water Industry Regulation Scheme (WIRS). This is the national recognised scheme for self-lay organisations, and was implemented so that its members can demonstrate that they have the necessary competencies and know-how, such as skilled and experienced staff.
- Recent references or endorsements from existing clients.
- All site works carried out by fully competent direct labour teams.
- Dedicated management team, with a single point of client contact.
- Proven management systems for control of the works.
- Proven record of delivering utilities completions on time and on budget.
Should you have further questions or require more information contact our Business Development Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org or simply request a quote here.