In April 2017 there will be significant changes to the English water market, as the current market will be deregulated, subsequently opening the market up to other suppliers. These changes will give businesses the opportunity to choose who supplies their water and wastewater services, just as they do with other utilities, such as gas and electricity.
Why is the Water Market Changing?
Ofgem (the economic regulator of the water sector in England and Wales) are working alongside Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and MOSL (Market Operator Services Limited) to open the water market, due to low customer satisfaction and a lack of trust from customers towards the current system and suppliers.
In addition to customer dissatisfaction, the Scottish water market was deregulated in 2008 and as a result there have been some major improvements. In the first five years it was reported that there was a 26% increase in customer satisfaction, more than £30 million worth of discounts were given and suppliers helped customers save 16 billion litres of water and 28,000 tonnes of C02.
How Will the Change Affect English Businesses?
The deregulation of the English water market will invite suppliers to compete for the custom of English businesses, by offering the best deal. Consequently, businesses will be able to shop around and negotiate the best deal for their water and wastewater services, with either their current supplier or by switching to a new supplier. Based on the outcome of the Scottish deregulation, other expected benefits are, more reliable and efficient services and an improvement in customer service.
After the deregulation the water market will become highly competitive, therefore, it may be worthwhile to seek the advice of a specialist utility broker to ensure you make the most of your buying power and secure the best deal for your business.