Business Water Rates Savings…

In England, the water retail market opened in April 2017.  Set up by the government and led by Ofwat, Defra and MOSL, 1.2 million businesses in England can now tender water services to find a deal which is best suited to them.

Scotland’s water market deregulated back in 2008 which has since seen businesses in Scotland save c£65 million on their water bills. With only approximately 50% of Scottish businesses switching, this figure will be much higher as more businesses take advantage of being able to switch.

What is changing?

Previously, there was no incentive for water suppliers to lower prices or improve service levels as consumers could not switch water providers.  By creating a competitive retail market, Ofwat in England and WICS in Scotland have created a market which allows you to choose a water provider most suited to your business.

Who is the wholesaler?

Your wholesaler will continue to source, treat and supply water to your business premises and carry away your wastewater for treatment and disposal. Wholesale tariffs are approved by the national regulator. These charges are fixed by wholesalers, which means you will pay the same wholesale charges regardless of who your water retailer is.  Wholesalers review and change their charges annually which are published on their websites for transparency.

Who is the retailer?

Your retailer is the company that sells water, wastewater, and drainage services to your business. They provide billing, are responsible for meter readings, any leakages on your business premises and will be the first point of contact for any customer service issues. Essentially, your business pays your bill to the retailer and the retailer pays the wholesaler for providing your water.

Your water retailer will buy the water supply services from the wholesalers and then add a small margin on top for handling their customer-facing activities. This is how most other service industries operate: phone networks, gas and electricity companies already work this way.

Deregulation has effectively opened the water market and retailers are now open to competition. Retailers are offering discounted margins to retain and win new business as well as additional services meaning there is an opportunity for you to deliver savings into your business.

For an informal discussion or more details on how your business can reduce water rates please contact