As the water market in England deregulated for businesses in April 2017, it may be unclear who your water supplier is and who you can buy water from.
For that matter, it’s not necessarily clear what water deregulation is either.
Let’s start with the later first.
The deregulation, which came into effect in April 2017, separated the wholesale supply of water which includes the supply of clean water and taking away, treating and cleaning of wastewater, from retail services such as billing, meter reading and customer service.
It all means 1.2 million businesses, charities and public sector organisations around the country no longer buy water services from their regional water company. Instead, they buy from a water retailer, like Water Plus, and are free to find a deal that suits them.
All this is not entirely new though. Businesses in Scotland and those in England that use a high volume of water have been able to buy their water from a number of licensed retailers for a number of years, but now this freedom and flexibility has extended nationwide in England too.
This is good news, as it means more competitive prices and contract options. Gone is the one size fits all approach. In is the chance to buy water in a way that is best for your business, be that fixing prices for budget certainty or tracking water market prices.
If you're not completely sure who your water retailer is, the easiest way to check is to simply look at your most recent water bill and who sent it.
When the water market deregulated, businesses in England automatically became a customer of the water retailer associated with the wholesaler in their region.
For example, Water Plus, is a joint venture between United Utilities and Severn Trent and since April 2017 we've looked after the water accounts for organisations in these two water wholesale regions. Businesses from anywhere in England and Scotland are free to join us through, as you can choose your retailer - you don't have to stay with the one you got automatically.
Water wholesaler, water retailer – we've mentioned these two a number of times but what’s the difference?
Wholesalers are responsible for the supply of clean water and taking away, treating and cleaning of wastewater. Basically, they look after everything needed to get clean water to a business, from the reservoirs to treatment plants to the networks of pipes, and similarly the infrastructure to deal with wastewater. It’s worth pointing out here though that wholesalers do not look after the pipework within your property – that’s your responsibility, in the same way as it is with domestic properties.
Water retailers, like us, are responsible for handling bills and payments for your water services, as well as obtaining meter readings. providing customer support and managing your queries with wholesalers.
Occasionally you may need to contact your wholesaler directly, especially if you have a water emergency, which is why we’ve put together a map to make this process as simple as possible for you.
As we have said, you don’t have to stick with the retailer you were allocated to. You are free to switch.
Join Water Plus and you can expect competitive and affordable water rates, as well as a choice of contracts so you get one that best suits your business.
If your business is in Scotland or England, we can offer you support in reducing your day-to-day water usage by sharing our expertise and water efficiency tips.
Additionally, as a Water Plus customer you can register for a ‘My Account’, keeping all your business water account information in one place. Using our online platform, you can manage all your payments and submit meter readings, as well as access information to help you understand your bill.
Get a quote today and see if you can save on your business water!
If you're already with Water Plus then register today for My Account.
If you are not currently with Water Plus, you’ll need to check if your organisation is eligible to switch water supplier. Despite the business water market opening up to competition, not all companies in the UK are eligible to switch. Businesses eligible to switch are usually:
If your current business water and/or wastewater supplier is located in Wales, or your business premises is predominately used for domestic purposes, unfortunately it is unlikely you can switch. You can use Open Water’s eligibility checker to see if you qualify to switch suppliers:
Access Open Water's eligibility guide.
Switching water supplier is easy. Once you’ve decided on the contract that’s right for your business, we’ll take care of everything else.
Think Water Plus could be the right fit for your business? Get a quote today and find out how much you could save.
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