Posted: 22/12/16 by Northamptonshire Chamber
From April 2017 businesses, charities and public sector organisations in England will be able to switch their supplier of water and sewerage retail services.
By switching, or negotiating with the current supplier, customers could get a better price or a more tailored service. Retail services include meter reading, billing and handling customer queries and complaints.
The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) is the independent consumer body for the water industry in England and Wales. It wants businesses to know about these upcoming changes in the non-household (NHH) retail water and sewerage market. There will be potential financial benefits and savings for businesses.
Am I eligible to take part in the retail water market?
From April 2017, all non-household (NHH) customers (i.e. businesses, charitable organisations and public sector organisations) at eligible premises in England – some 1.2 million customers - will be able to switch their supplier of water and sewerage retail services. Retail services include meter reading, billing and handling customer queries and complaints
Background to non-household retail competition
Currently, only very heavy water users (5 million litres per year in England) can switch water supplier. Five million litres would fill two Olympic-sized swimming pools. However, from April 2017 this usage threshold will drop to zero in England, effectively opening up competition to all NHH customers.
Who will be operating in the non-household retail market?
New retail suppliers are being split from water and sewerage companies that you already know. Some retailers operating in Scotland have sought licences to operate in England. It is also possible that entirely new retailers including those operating in the energy and telecoms sectors could offer retail services.
How could my members and their customers benefit from the retail water market?
Retailers will compete with each other to offer customers a better price and service. Many larger customers expect to make a saving by consolidating billing across multiple sites.
Other customers report they would value added-value services like water efficiency checks to root out leakage or more frequent meter reading to get better control over their usage.
For further information visit www.ccwater.org.uk/business-customers