quote
menu

A complete guide to the business water market changes


The UK’s business water market is being opened up to competition in April 2018. But what does this mean for you?

At the moment, most businesses don’t have a choice in who provides them with water. However, under the new rules, the water market will be opened up, with different suppliers vying for your business. Many are even predicting that water will be bundled with other services, such as broadband, electricity or gas.

Why?

Regulator Ofwat believes that opening up the market will allow consumers to seek lower prices as well as encourage innovation within the industry. It has been argued that the UK water industry is living in the dark ages, with few companies allowing customers to manage bills online or via app. Additionally, Open Water believe that the changes will lead to greater water efficiency, and reduced emissions from lower usage.

The changes will see firms buying batches of water from existing providers such as Yorkshire Water, Severn Trent or Thames Water. They will then sell water onto consumers. Due to the nature of the service, it’s predicted that energy and gas suppliers may enter the market.  

United Utilities and Severn Water have reacted to the changes by teaming up to create a new business water retail company called ‘Water Plus’. However, whilst the changes are likely to see new suppliers enter the market, some suppliers have already exited, deciding instead to focus on domestic energy. In July, Thames Water announced that it will no longer serve business customers after April, and will instead transfer business customers to Castle Water.

The changes could particularly benefit multi-site businesses, who will be able to deal with a single supplier instead of multiple regional suppliers.

Theoretically, having a choice of providers should drive prices down, although Ofwat have underplayed this, stating that bills may only be reduced by an average of £8 per year.

Are you eligible?

Businesses that use over 50 megalitres litres per year have been able to switch business suppliers for some time. In Scotland, any non-household water customer can already switch suppliers. The new rules will remove the 50 megalitres threshold in England, and increase the pool of potential switchers to over 1million businesses.

Basically, if you have a business premises, and you use water, you should be able to switch.

Those businesses that use over 50 megalitres will have the option to apply for a retail water license and ‘self supply’ by buying water directly from the supplier.

Research has found that awareness of the changes among small businesses is low, with fewer than 1 in 10 aware that they will be able to switch suppliers from April. Despite this, 38% said they would be interested in switching once the market is opened up.

For more information see http://www.open-water.org.uk/

 

Related Articles

DCP228 and Business Electricity

What is DCP228? DCP228 is a regulation to be introduced by Ofgem in April 2018 which will change the way busin...

Read More
energy news

DCP 161 – Excess Capacity Charges

If your business uses a Half Hourly (HH) meter for its energy supply, make sure you’re ready for DCP 161...

Read More
Scottish Power logo

Total Gas & Power

Total Gas & Power is a business energy supplier, wholly owned by Total SA. It has been a leading business ...

Read More
Excellent, 9.8 / 10

Excellent Service

"Excellent service from Lorraine. Clear advice. Helpful and efficient change over. Well done"

This review was posted by Clive Burns on the 17th of October 2018

Excellent service

"Excellent service Cant fault the advice and support received from Cheryl Sreenan right from our very first telephone conversation. We never felt pressurised to make a decision about changing our Business Energy provider and it was the professionalism that Cheryl showed throughout our decision making that persuaded us to choose Switch my Business over the other comparison sites we had used beforehand."

This review was posted by Lisa W on the 16th of October 2018

Great communication with Aaron over the…

"Great communication with Aaron over the telephone when going through my utilities."

This review was posted by Gary Ashley on the 16th of October 2018

Very happy with my experience of using…

"Very happy with my experience of using Switch My Business. Mark Weeks has made the process very straight forward, explaining each process in a positive and helpful manner. Would not hesitate in recommending using this company in the future."

This review was posted by Rachel Williams on the 16th of October 2018

Excellent service so far

"Excellent service so far! Elliot was really helpful. Its always a bit daunting switching utilities but a really professional service!"

This review was posted by Alison on the 16th of October 2018