From April 2017, businesses, charities and public sector organisations in England will be able to switch their supplier of water and sewerage retail services. Retail services include meter reading, billing and handling customer queries and complaints.

By switching, or negotiating with the current supplier, customers could receive a better price or a more tailored service.

Information for business customers

Switching suppliers

From April 2017, there will no longer be a yearly minimum water usage threshold in England. For customers to switch suppliers, the Welsh Government has decided to keep a 50 million litre threshold in Wales.

New retail suppliers are being spun off from existing water and sewerage companies. Some retailers operating in Scotland have sought licences to operate in England. It is also possible that entirely new retailers, including those operating in the energy and telecoms sectors, could offer retail services.

What are the benefits?

  • Lower price
  • Better customer service
  • Tailored services
  • Water efficiency
  • Consolidated suppliers and bills

In Scotland, around 30% of customers have switched and around 50% have negotiated with their current retailer since the retail market opened there in 2008.

Further information on how the new market works can be found on the Open Water website.

How we support customers

CCWater is working with the market designers – Defra, Ofwat (the regulator), Market Operator Services Limited (MOSL) – and retailers to ensure that customers’ views collected through our research and advocacy work are considered at the design, testing and implementation stages of the new market.

When the market opens we will continue to give advice and where necessary take up complaints on behalf of customers who have not been able to resolve matters with their retailer.

For more information, contact us at or on 0121 345 1028

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