Testing the Waters: Business customers’ views on their water and sewerage services 2018

Testing the Waters is our first study since the retail water market opened in England on 1 April 2017. Testing the Waters study tracks the views of business customers in England and Wales on their water and sewerage services. These changes gave non-household customers in England the freedom to shop around for a better water deal.

2,300 interviews were conducted as part of the survey, which is repeated every two years. The results shed light on the challenges facing wholesalers and retailers in serving business customers.

Our research shows that since our last survey in 2016:

  • Satisfaction with water services has fallen in England.
  • Business customers in Wales are much more satisfied in areas of care and trust than those in England with the gap also widening in other areas since the opening of the retail water market.
  • Awareness of the retail market has increased from 10% to 42% but there is still much more to be done to ensure the message reaches all businesses.
  • The vast majority of customers who have switched have had a positive experience of the market.

We’ll use the findings to support our challenge to retailers and wholesalers to work together to improve the experiences of business customers.

You can read a summary of our findings here: