In 2008, Scotland became the first country in the world to have a deregulated water market. Since then, the country has boasted a number of significant improvements including water delivery, customer service and generating efficiencies — just like in other deregulated markets like gas and electricity.
From 1 April 2017, most businesses and organisations in England are free to choose which company they want to supply their retail water services.
The water market in England has mostly operated as a series of regional monopolies like Thames Water, Yorkshire Water and Northumbrian Water. By introducing more competition into the marketplace you increase the incentives for suppliers to reduce costs or provide a better service. Ultimately, this will lead to more benefits for consumers.
Eligible businesses, charities and public sector customers are no longer restricted to buying retail water services from their regional water company. Instead, they are now free to choose their water retailer from any one of the 21 wholesale water companies in the UK.
Large organisations have been able to choose who they pay for their retail water services for some time. Now, most small businesses who pay a water bill for premises in England also have the freedom to choose.
The benefits of a competitive water market include:
- better value for your money
- lowering your bills and charges
- improving the customer service you get
- tailored services for your company – such as consolidated billing
- help to become a more water efficient business