Principal, Economist (Cost Assessment) – PR24 & beyond

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Birmingham or London

Application Deadline
£51,628 - £78,970

The Organisation

Ofwat (the Water Services Regulation Authority) is the economic regulator of the water and wastewater sector in England and Wales. Our role is to help it build trust and confidence with customers, the environment and wider society. Ofwat has an ambitious new strategy and as a regulator we are setting ourselves up to achieve and equal the ambition of this new strategy. It matters to us that things on the ground really change so that our impact on customers, the environment and the future of water is tangible and meaningful.

Our work is high-profile and fast-moving, within a dynamic and agile environment. The work that you’ll be involved in every day will be about helping us to deliver our strategy, helping to us to be the regulator we want to be and helping the sector to deliver outcomes that matter to customers and society. Our strategy sets out the role Ofwat will play. We will adapt, be confident, act with purpose and integrity and continuously improve so that we make the greatest contribution possible to improving life through water.

The Role

Economists work across Ofwat, with diverse opportunities to contribute to meeting our ambitious goals. Ofwat is organised in ‘clusters’. Each cluster has work programs that focus on particular areas of Ofwat’s regulatory duties and it strategy. The successful candidate will join the PR24 cluster to help to deliver their work program. Ofwat is an agile working environment, so you can expect opportunities to support other clusters and to move around the organisation as work priorities shift.

This role is at Principal level. Principals are expected to be able to lead workstreams, which will involve key economic analysis and economic policy development. It is likely to involve managing the work of others in order to deliver the project objectives.

The PR24 and beyond cluster is responsible with developing the approach for future price reviews including the next price control in 2024. Though this may seem some time away, it is crucial that we begin to work with the sector to develop our approach to help deliver our long term goals for the sector. The development of a price control goes beyond setting the revenue limits and outcomes that we expect from companies but also includes examining how we can make greater use of markets and incentives to deliver better outcomes for customers and the environment. As we have just completed PR19, the development of PR24 is at an early stage and the role has the opportunity to help shape the design of PR24 and the role that they play.

This is a key role in the cost assessment team for PR24. The role will have responsibility for leading on key areas of cost assessment, including cost benchmarking but also on related economic policy areas such as the development of incentives, markets and wider improvements to the regulatory framework. The role will require a variety of expertise including:

  • In-depth practical knowledge of econometrics and cost benchmarking.
  • Knowledge of microeconomics and its application to economic regulation.
  • Ability to produce high quality and robust numerical and policy analysis to tight timescales.
  • Ability to identify economic issues and develop options in the context of policy development.
  • Ability to manage and develop others.
  • Continued self-development to help ensure that Ofwat stays at the forefront of economic thinking.
  • Working with multidisciplinary teams including accountants, engineers, lawyers and policy specialists.
  • Engaging with companies and other stakeholders to develop and test new approaches.

Key deliverables include:

  • Leading the delivery of work in the cost assessment area of the price control and related areas of policy such as incentives, markets, or outcomes.
  • Undertaking numerical and policy economic analysis, including leading on areas of cost benchmarking.
  • Development of improvements to our approach, including wider improvements to our regulatory approach and incentives
  • Presentation of analysis and proposals to internal and external stakeholders

The Requirements

To thrive in this role and successfully deliver on the above activities you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the following areas; (full details can be obtained from the Candidate Information Pack on Ofwat’s careers page):

  • Economics degree or a degree with significant economic content
  • Applying economics in a regulator or competition authority; or
  • Applying economics in a commercial setting, such as consultancy or a regulated company
  • Experience of applied econometrics in a competition or regulatory setting.
  • Regulatory policy development
  • Working with multi-disciplinary teams to deliver projects in a complex stakeholder environment.
  • Good written and oral communications skills, including the ability to concisely explain complex economic issues in intuitive non-technical language

The Offer

Come and take a look, we offer a substantial benefits package including 25 days holiday plus 10 ½ bank holiday and privilege leave days per annum, a fantastic & highly competitive civil service pension scheme, among many other benefits.

A truly flexible, autonomous and trust based working culture is on offer to help you succeed within Ofwat.

For further information, a detailed role profile including benefits and how to apply, please visit our website

Please forward a CV and cover letter, including the relevant experience required for this post. Please ensure that you have outlined how your skills and experience meet the criteria set out in the requirements section of the role profile. All applications require a CV Supplement form (mandatory) and a Diversity form (optional) to be completed as part of the process, this can be found on our website.

Please email your CV and supporting documents to with the name of the vacancy in the subject.

Closing date and time: 25 February 2021 at 5.00pm


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