In a deregulated water market you can go water retail and switch water supplier or choose water self supply

Water self supply Scotland


Since water market deregulation 1st April 2017 if you are unhappy with the service you are getting from your existing water supplier and are looking to switch water supplier so you can save money on your water bills by getting better rates elsewhere.


There are other reasons for considering switching water supplier for instance: –


Making savings with better tariffs


Obtaining a better service including more accurate water billing and prompt replies to billing issues raised.


Consolidating your water, waste water and trade effluent bills across multiple sites to one single supplier and one bill.


There may well be other reasons for switching supplier as each business or organisation is different, it is therefore wise to make a list of pro’s and con’s but bear in mind switching water supplier in Scotland offers considerably more discounts ranging from 10 per cent to 25 per cent all depends on your water, waste water and trade effluent (if applicable) content and billing profiles it is rarely one size fits all.


Switching water supplier for any sites in England will not deliver as high savings as in Scotland, the expectation is 1 per cent to 5 percent so therefore the driver for switching supplier may be for other reasons other than a few per cent off bills.


There is another way to take advantage of a deregulated water market that is water self supply.


Water self supply is where a business or organisation supplies itself by applying for a water self supply licence, enabling the self supplier to deal with the wholesale water and waste water company directly, cutting out the water retail margin. Resulting in higher water procurement savings than you would achieve by going down the water retail route.


Sounds attractive? too good to be true?


In Scotland no but not in all instances, the margin between wholesale and retail is higher in most cases.


For example water audit experts H20 Building Services conducted water self supply for 2 large retailers and an NHS Trust Hospital, the results were very favorable with the 2 major retail firms with sites in Scotland going self supply would deliver £220,000 a year each in savings net of costs.

The self supply feasibility study is under consideration and to be clear these savings are a direct result of water self supply and do not include for any other water saving measures and in fact a great many businesses and organisations would benefit from water self supply.


The public sector in Scotland for example are missing out on many £millions in savings on their water bills as they have been lead down the water retail path due to a ill conceived public sector tender project which is costing public sector organisations dearly in lost savings. Monies that the public sector could use for public services had they received water expert independent advice and completed a water self supply feasibility study.

These public sector organisations in Scotland would have been able to make a more informed decision as to what is best for the public sector.

Expert advice and innovation is key to maximising savings on water and waste water bills.


Now what about water self supply in England? 


The percentage margin between the wholesale price and the retail is substantially lower than in Scotland often single digits, and again it is not a one size fits all situation.


We have seen a few companies and more recently a public sector organisation Blackpool Council that have gone down the self supply route, and they are generally coy about publishing savings projections that are just from going self supply, preferring to quote other planned theoretical savings based on the application of water management , water leak detection and AMR water flow data logging.

You do not have to go down the water self supply route to plan and instigate these activities they can be a part of a water strategy and not linked in any way to how water and waste water services are procured.


Generally water self supply in isolation will not in itself produce the hyped up savings intimated.


It will be interesting to see if the auditors at Blackpool Council can confirm that a £50,000 saving has been achieved just by going self supply as when the costs of application and process are factored in there will be little left to shout about.


Water consultants H20 Building Services advise you to do your homework and be fully informed, the choice is yours!


Read our article



Looking for expert guidance on water self supply or a free feasibility study report call us on 0845 658 0948 or email us on for immediate service.