Business Water Deregulation: The Facts

Now that business water deregulation has come into force, the regional monopolies will come to an end. The prospect of an open market has prompted countless directors and executives to say: “Tell me how water deregulation would affect my business.”

So here are the facts about water deregulation:

What does business water deregulation mean?

All business water users in England will be able to choose who bills them for water and sewage services. They will no longer be tied to a firm simply because of their postcode.

New companies and established providers will battle for contracts, and the competition should mean firms save on business water when tariffs are unfrozen. More innovation, greater efficiency and improved customer services are also expected.

What will change?

Nothing will change at the point of use. The physical provision of water and sewage services will not alter because ownership of pipes and infrastructure is not up for grabs. This is the wholesale aspect of the water industry, and it cannot be deregulated.

The difference will lie in what’s known as retail services, which involves: billing, meter reading, account management, leak repairs, customer queries and advice on water efficiency.

Companies such as United Utilities will continue to provide water and sewage services, but they will no longer deal with customers directly. Instead, you will do business with your chosen retailer.

The impact of water regulation on businesses may be a positive one and help to reduce prices. It may also provide more competition and, therefore, more choice for consumers.

Will there be full UK business water deregulation?

No. Water deregulation in England follows the deregulation of Scottish business water back in 2008, but Wales and Northern Ireland will not be affected.

Have Scottish businesses benefited from deregulation?

Yes. Water efficiency savings have topped £35m, customers have been given more than £20m worth of discounts, the public sector has saved at least £20m and customer satisfaction has increased by 26%.

How should English businesses prepare for deregulation?

The first and most essential step is to carry out a company water audit. If you have precise data about usage before tendering begins, then you’ll be able to find a deal that genuinely suits your needs.

You might think your priority is to save on company water, but an audit may reveal that help with waste reduction would be more beneficial.

For more information – contact us today.