What Can England Learn From Water Deregulation in Scotland?

England has begun the process of water deregulation of the retail water market, first for businesses and eventually for individual households as well. They aren’t alone though, and there is a perfect real-world case study to draw experience from right on their doorstep in the form of water deregulation in Scotland.


Since Scotland began to deregulate its water market in 2008, we have nearly a decade of data regarding the effects of deregulation on water suppliers, businesses, and the economy as a whole. So what kind of things can water customers and suppliers in England alike look forward to as England pushes ahead with water deregulation?


Cost of Water Will Decrease

Cost savings are likely the main reason that English businesses were looking forward to water deregulation. If water deregulation proceeds similarly to what we’ve seen in Scotland, we can expect to eventually see average savings of 20 per cent or more on business water supply. It will take time for changes to take effect though, and initially savings in the lower single digits would be a more reasonable estimate. Still, for major companies with multiple locations, even a water savings of 2-3 per cent can have a significant impact on their bottom line.


Water Efficiency Will Increase

Current estimates suggest that over 3 billion litres of treated water is lost to leakage every day. This figure alone is jarring enough but is made even worse when you realise the amount is equal to 20 per cent of the national water supply.


Despite investments in infrastructure in recent years, this figure is actually on the rise. Water deregulation will hopefully assist in lowering this number, however. Although it will require a massive capital investment of billions of pounds upfront, major water suppliers may seek to investigate and repair leaks as a way to reduce costs going forward.


As was seen after deregulation in Scotland, we can also expect to see a push from suppliers to help improve water efficiency at a business level as well. Similar programs in Scotland have reduced water consumption by more than 15 billion litres.


Improved Customer Service

The central theme surrounding water deregulation that you may have picked up on is increased competition among water suppliers. Another effect of this should be an improvement in the quality of customer service provided. With many customers looking to switch providers, water companies are doing their best to position themselves to grab a larger portion of the market.


In the past, businesses and homeowners alike were essentially stuck with one water supplier based on their geographic location. This is no longer the case, and suppliers will have to fight for your business. Suppliers cannot take businesses for granted any more, and will need to provide improved customer service to retain existing customers and take on new ones.


Consolidated Billing

Along with the ability to switch suppliers comes additional billing options for businesses. Traditionally, companies with multiple sites may have been supplied by a number of different water companies. Now that firms are free to choose their supplier, they can move all of their water supply to their preferred provider and receive a single monthly water bill for all of their locations.


Thinking of Switching Business Water Suppliers?

An expert opinion can help identify the best water supplier for your specific business needs. Let the experts at H2O Building Services find the right solution for you and ensure you’re not overpaying for water call us on 01924 387 873 or email [email protected]