SMEs Call For Help In Understanding The Retail Water Market

The retail water market in England opened in April last year, allowing businesses to choose which company they want to supply their water services – but it seems that there are some small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) still struggling to understand the market, even 12 months on.


A new study by the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) has found that SMEs still need more convincing that this new element of competition yields benefits for them.


Businesses told the watchdog that money would be their main motivation when it comes to renegotiating deals or switching suppliers and they would expect to do this through a range of measures like bundled utility services, water efficiency and online account management.


But a lack of information and interest from retailers appears to be getting in the way of take-up, with SMEs saying they would have expected something like a price comparison site to make it easier to shop around for deals.


Deputy chief executive of CCWater Phil Marshall said: “Retailers and brokers should see this as a golden opportunity to sell the benefits of switching or renegotiating to a group of customers that often don’t have the time or resources to go hunting for information that should be much easier to access.”


Interestingly, it was found that bigger organisations had a better understanding of the market than SMEs, although even these businesses said their experiences could be improved upon once issues resulting from poor data, disputes between retailers and wholesalers, and inaccurate bills are resolved.


That said, there are companies out there waking up to the benefits that switching business water supplier can yield. Market operator MOSL and Ofwat recently revealed that more than 100,000 eligible companies have actually made the move to a different supplier since the retail market opened a year ago.


Senior director with Ofwat Emma Kelso said that the goal with the retail market is to help promote trust and confidence in wastewater and water, with these latest figures proof that firms are now taking advantage of having an open market. And there’s scope for a lot more in the future as the market grows and develops, which will only help to benefit customers in the long run.


If you’re not happy with the service you’re receiving from your current supplier, bear in mind that you can save money and enjoy better rates somewhere else. Get in touch with a consultancy service like H2O Building Services and have a full audit of water use carried out so you can compare your current supplier’s charges with the tariffs on offer from others… so you can choose the best deal to suit you and your company.


We’re also able to manage the changeover on your behalf, very useful when it comes to consolidating lots of different bills into one single one. Give us a call today on 0845 658 0948 to find out more on the retail water market.