As of 1 April 2017, businesses, charities and public sector organisations in England are 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 their current supplier, customers could receive a better price or a more tailored service.

Information for business customers

Switching suppliers

There is no longer 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.

More than 20 retailers are operating in the market in England, including some that have been spun off from existing water and sewerage companies and some entirely new ones.

In Scotland the retail market for business customers has been operating since 2008. So far, around 30% of customers in Scotland have switched and around 50% have negotiated with their current retailer. Some of the retailers operating in Scotland are now also operating in England.

What are the benefits?

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

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

How we support customers

CCWater worked 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 were considered during the design, testing and implementation of the new market.

Now that the market is open for business 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 marketreform@ccwater.org.uk or on 0121 345 1028

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