In just one year from now, we’re going to see a major shake-up of the water industry. In April 2017 the entire business market for water in England will be deregulated. What does this mean for English businesses and how should you prepare?
Emulating the Scottish model
Within the UK, water market deregulation is not new. Scotland has had a deregulated market since 2008 and businesses in England using over 5 mega litres of water at a single site have been able to choose their supplier for some time.
Since deregulation, the impact on Scottish businesses has been positive in terms of water delivery, customer service and generating efficiencies. Specifically, in the first five years after deregulation, Scottish Water Business Stream Ltd lists improvements as:
- £35 million in water efficiency savings
- 26% increase in customer satisfaction
- £30 million worth of discounts available to customers
- Saving public sector customers more than £20 million in three years
Overall deregulation has been a good move in Scotland. However, as we see with gas and electricity supplies, the choices business make on an individual level will determine whether deregulation is good or bad on a case by case basis.
Plan early to get the best deal
The aim of deregulation is to introduce more competition into the market. Currently, the water market in England is essentially controlled by regional monopolies, such as: Thames Water, United Utilities, Severn Trent and Anglian Water.
When full UK deregulation hits in 2017, you’ll be able to choose who supplies your business with water, waste water and drainage services. This means you can tender your water in the same way as you tender energy supplies and benefit from reduced prices. And if you operate across multiple sites that span different regions, you can deal with one supplier instead of several, boosting your negotiating position and reducing administration costs.
We’ve got until April 2017 before water deregulation comes to England, but to ensure you’ve got the best deal by then, we’ll be starting to tender water supplies from around September this year. We’ll include water, wastewater, trade effluent and surface water and highways drainage charges.
If you’d like me to ensure you get the best deal on your water supplier, get in touch.