Although the business water market has been deregulated in Scotland since 2008, deregulation only occurred in England in April 2017. Prior to this, the water market was split by geographical region, with businesses having no choice but to use their regional supplier. The change in law has meant that the water market has now opened up and regional suppliers no longer have the monopoly – as a result, businesses are now free to choose their water supplier.
Although the business water markets in England and Scotland are now deregulated, those in Northern Ireland and Wales and the domestic water market remain regulated.
What water deregulation means for your business
- Lower water bills The biggest difference water deregulation will make to your business is a potential saving on your water bills, provided you switch to a more competitive rate. The market liberalisation applies to all water services - sewerage, water supply and surface drainage – and you can have separate providers for all of these. It’s recommended to get quotes for each so you know exactly what you are paying for.
- Better customer service and benefits With water suppliers competing for customers for the first time, one effect of deregulation is improved customer service alongside additional customer benefits as water companies try and win more business.
- Simpler billing For businesses with multiple sites, the change in regulation means that rather than having to deal with multiple suppliers and accounts, you can consolidate all of your water services and deal with a single supplier. You should also be able to request online billing and more frequent billing if needed.
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