Retail Exit

Understanding non-household customers’ views of incumbent water companies exiting the retail market

The main aims of the research were to find out non-household customer views about the sale or transfer of their account to a new retailer with the market opening in April 2017, and whether different sized organisations held different views about retail exit.

The key findings are:

  • Many businesses’ preferred outcome would be for their water company not to exit the retail market
  • Customers did see more advantages of a transfer to a licensed retailer that is associated with their local water company, rather than a retailer who is unrelated, such as ‘Tesco Water’

Key concerns:

  • Retail exit will lead to higher prices and customers will be unfairly locked into a contract with a new retailer that they are unable to leave
  • How long protections stay in place, to allow time to consider the market.

If you have any questions related to this research, please contact Jennifer Suggate, Policy Manager at

Download the research findings below: