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England’s Water Market Is Opening

England’s Water Market Is Opening

The next great money saving idea

If you are a non-domestic water user you will be able to tender your supply as from April 2017.

Your supply will no longer be tied to your local geographic supplier and you can pick your own just like business customers have been able to do since 2008.

As of now you can only tender your supply if you use over 5ML (5 x 1,000,000 litres) of water but your waste water and trade effluent has to stay with the local deemed supplier.

 This changes in April 2017 and all business users, no matter how much water they use can change supplier for water, waste water and trade effluent. There is no limit on the size of supply. From a small shop to a large factory, all can pick their own supplier.

Just like with the opening of the gas and electricity markets nothing will change, just who send you your bill.

The main reason for changing is that you may be able to get a better price. Add to that the additional services that are sure to be included like the possibility of AMR (Automated Meter Read), sub metering, e-billing, better customer service and the like and it is certainly worth looking into.

In the past water companies have been able to sit on their laurels but with increased competition this is sure to change.  They will need to up the

ir price and their customer service offering.

What to look out for?

October 2016 – all water companies must announce their intentions as to how they are going to operate in the open market. They must state if they are going to work nationally, locally or exit the market altogether.

Why is this important?

If your water company is going to exit the market you may find yourself being transferred to another supplier even if you have not requested it. As soon as you are aware this applies to your supply we would advise that you use it to your advantage and make sure you will bet the best deal going forward. You are not going to fall into the trap of being transferred from one default supplier to another are you?

How have things gone in Scotland?

Back in 2008 is was a slow start. Discounts of about 5% were on offer at the start but recently with discounts 20-25% discounts being on offer, switching has increased dramatically. It is not just cost savings - a range of additional services like e-billing and sub metering have been introduced leading to a range of great packages being offered.

In Scotland the water companies are learning that it not all about price (although very important) – it’s the whole package that’s important.

We expect this to happen south of the Border and this can only be to the users benefit.

What to do now?

If you operate in Scotland, we would stongly suggest that you check what is on offer immediately.

If you operate South of the Border, we suggest that you start getting your data together now.

  • How much waste water your premises discharges
  • How much liquid trade waste your processes generate
  • How much fresh water each site/supply uses
  • Is your supply a shared service? – If it is, try to get it separated as a dedicated supply will be much easier to tender

With this data you can go out to tender for exactly what is right for you. Don’t forget to ask what extras the water companies offer e-billing, online access, AMR, leak detection, sub metering and the like if you need it.

Update - 7th March 16

United Utilities and Severn Trent team up for the non-domestic water retail market.
Severn Trent and United Utilities Plc are forming a joint venture offering water and related services to business customers.

Read more HERE 

Ofwat has today (25th May) set out a number of major reforms to help boost resilience and secure a better deal for water customers, the environment and wider society. As part of a package of measures introduced following public consultation, Ofwat has called for customers to be given an increased role in water companies’ decision making on an on-going basis. The regulator has announced it is backing new markets in bioresources – treated sewage – and water trading, which together could be worth £1.6 billion. Ofwat has also announced it is stepping away from the use of the RPI measure of inflation, towards a CPI measure.

More HERE on the Ofwat site.

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