Did You Know Your Business Could Switch Water Supplier?
The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) has warned the water industry that it needs to ramp up its efforts to engage with business customers in order to increase awareness of England’s retail water market.
Research from the organisation shows that just two out of five small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) know they can switch water supplier. To help tackle this problem, CCWater has been working alongside representative bodies like the National Farmers’ Union and the British Chambers of Commerce to reach out to businesses across a variety of sectors over the last year and a half.
This latest survey, carried out back in January, found that once customers were aware of the retail market, the majority were keen to look into it more. Some 47 per cent looked for further information, 31 per cent negotiated better deals with their current providers and 24 per cent actually switched.
Interestingly, the bigger the company in question they more likely they are to take decisive action in this regard, with seven out of ten SMEs saying they’d like to find out more about their different options in the near future.
“We want choice to work for everyone, from the smallest to the largest business, but that relies on customers having an awareness and understanding of the market.”
“All of us in the water sector need to ask ourselves are we doing enough to reach out to small businesses and help them understand why this market is worth engaging with. At present our research shows there is a lot more to do. We must not allow awareness levels to stagnate,” chief executive of CCWater Tony Smith said.
From April last year, the majority of businesses across England were given the power to choose their own supplier for the first time, with the old regionalised market deregulated. Previously, companies had no choice about getting water from a local water company but now water supply in England is akin to that in Scotland, which opened its own retail market back in 2008.
It can be confusing and difficult, however, since switching will be a new experience for many companies out there and it could be a struggle to navigate the deregulated market. With lots of new retail companies emerging, finding the best deal can be tricky.
It’s only a matter of time, of course, until the market matures which will see the best suppliers rise to the top, but until that happens it would make sense to seek the advice of experienced consultants who know the water industry like the back of their hand. This will really help give you the peace of mind you need to know you’ve done the very best for your company.
Benefits of switching include cost savings, better service, value-added extras, consolidation of water supply across multiple sites and finding a specialist provider for your particular operational needs or industry.