Over 100,000 Business Sites Switch Water Supplier

Since April 1st last year, eligible companies have been able to switch water supplier, giving them more options for their water services, allowing them to choose more specific service packages to suit their individual needs, and enable them to negotiate with suppliers with regards to price.


And now, according to market operator MOSL and Ofwat, more than 100,000 eligible companies have switched suppliers since the market opened ten months ago.


Emma Kelso, senior director with Ofwat, commented on the news, saying: “Our overall goal with the retail water market is to promote customers’ trust and confidence in water and wastewater, and these figures today show that businesses are taking advantage of the open market.


“Business water customers have the opportunity to save on the whole bill; particularly through water efficiency services, customer service, interaction with retailers and opportunities for reduced administration costs.


“There’s scope for much more to come as the market develops and grows and that will only benefit customers in the long term.”


The retail water market itself works in much the same way as other utility markets like telecoms, electricity and gas. Wholesalers provide water and wastewater services  to suppliers, who then go on to sell such services to business customers. These retailers will then compete with one another to offer the best deals and customers can pick which ones they want to buy these services from.


Regional water companies continue to maintain water pipe networks, manage the supply of water to businesses and treat wastewater before returning it to the environment. Services and prices continue to be regulated by Ofwat as well.


Since 2011, it’s only been companies and non-household customers using more than five million litres of water a year that have been permitted to pick who supplies water and wastewater services. But since the market opened itself up to competition, about 1.2 million more firms have been eligible to switch.


The main reasons that companies decide to switch supplier include being able to make cost savings by taking advantage of better tariffs from another provider, getting a better service (such as more accurate billing and better customer service), finding a specialist supplier for a particular industry, value-added extras as well as regular supply services, and consolidation of water supplies across multiple sites by using a single supplier.


At the moment, in order to be able to switch you need to have at least one site based in Scotland or England. Businesses in Wales and Northern Ireland are currently unable to change. If you’re concerned that you do not meet the criteria, it would be wise to get in touch with a specialist consultant like H2O Building Services to find out if you do qualify and are able to choose which supplier you’d like.


Since deregulation, lots more retail suppliers have entered the market so you have even more choice than ever before. But it can be hard to make the right decision so do get in touch if you’d like further advice call 01924 387 873 or email or complete our contact us page