Effective government of the English Water Retail Market – thought leadership paper March 2014

Author:  Graham Mann, Water Audit Expert.


Water retail competition for business customer represents a major transformational change for the English water market, providing an enabler for customers to drive cost and water efficiency. The market blueprint consultation issued by open water programme in January 2014 sets out the programmes recommendations for the high level design.

Amongst other things the open water programme considers the establishment of a market operator (MO) to provide a range of market facilitation services to support the competitive water retail market, these include registration, switching water supplier, financial settlement, data exchange and governance.

History has proven in many markets that the overriding theme is the absolute requirement for good governance, get it wrong and the arrangements could fail, get it right and the key decisions will be informed, engender stakeholder buy-in and will deliver the desired outcomes.

The challenge for the UK water industry will be in the next phase of the programme, developing appropriate governance arrangements that balance the tension between accountability and responsibility whilst placing the correct incentives on parties to deliver the benefits of water competition.

Go here for the full paper Effective-Governance-of-the-Retail-Water-Market-March-2014