Some water consultants are pushing water retail companies to reclassify care homes causing serious procurement contract issues.

Over the last few months it has come to light that various water consultants are pushing water retail companies to reclassify the case home sector which will cause untold damage to water procurement plans now and in the future.


Why push for reclassification?


At present care homes are classified as commercial operations and as such are charged for water and waste water services that way.

There are certain charges in some areas of the UK such as surface water drainage and property area banded charges, which is a charge for the collection, treatment and disposal of rainwater that lands on the property, these are fixed annual charges for commercial properties.


If the care home industry us reclassified as a residential or domestic property then the charges for surface water will also be reclassified, which are substantially less.

This is all fine in the short term as not only will these charges be reduced the water consultants are also pushing for the water retailer to back date these charges retrospectively and refund the charges back many years, representing significant fees on the water bill rebates.


This action is being taken by a few water consultants without any thought to the future consequences for water procurement contracts and switching water supplier now and in the foreseeable future as there is no mechanism in the water market yet for switching water supplier in the domestic / residential market.

This being the case the care home sector will lose out on £millions of pounds worth of savings on their water bills in particular on the water and waste water volume charges.


Water audit experts H20 Building Services have large care home clients and calculate that the losses on future savings could be over £1.1 million on a 3 year water procurement and integrated water management project for its clients.


H20 Building Services urges any water consultancy firms considering or even implementing care home sector reclassification to think again and withdraw this action as the future effect on water bills in the care home sector will be disastrous and we urge water retailers to vigorously oppose any such applications.