Water choice – industry launches awareness-raising campaign

Today marks the launch of a new industry-wide campaign aimed at raising awareness of the new non-household retail water market in England.

There are just ten weeks to go until 1.2 million businesses, charities and public sector organisations will have the freedom to switch to a different water retailer.

But with the clock ticking down to market opening on April 3, a new survey by water industry regulator Ofwat has revealed up to two-thirds of eligible customers are unaware of the biggest shake-up of the industry since privatisation more than 25 years ago.

CCWater is joining forces with water industry partners to support the awareness-raising campaign in an effort to ensure customers do not miss out on the potential benefits of choice, which could include lower bills and better services.

Tony Smith, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council for Water, said: “Awareness of the new non-household retail water market appears to be heading in the right direction, having been as low as eight per cent almost a year ago when we carried out our own customer research. That has now risen to one-third of customers.”

“But the job is not done with two-thirds of eligible customers still oblivious to the changes and at risk of missing out on the potential benefits. With less than three months to go, our challenge to the industry is to ensure the majority of customers in England know about the new market. We want to see a vibrant marketplace where customers are well-informed about the choices they can make.”

Retailers will provide customer-facing services including billing, meter reading and handling complaints and enquiries.

CCWater has been busy forging partnerships with representative organisations, including the British Chambers of Commerce and National Farmers’ Union, to help bring their members up to speed with the changes.

To discover more about the new market and who is eligible visit www.open-water.org.uk

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