Water deregulation – Businesses missing out on £200m worth of savings by not switching

Small businesses are splashing out on water bills when they could switch water suppliers and share in around £200 million worth of savings. Do you want to tap into lower […]

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By Freddie Rand

Small businesses are splashing out on water bills when they could switch water suppliers and share in around £200 million worth of savings. Do you want to tap into lower bills?

Don’t splash out – switch water supplier!

It’s been three months since the water market in England was deregulated but only a small number of businesses have switched water suppliers.

On 1st April 2017, eligible small businesses were given the freedom to choose which water supplier they could buy their water and wastewater services from based on the best deal.

However, take-up has been slow. Since April, just 28,000 switches were made, reports MOSL, market operator of the non-household water market. And that’s just the number of meters; even fewer business customers have taken the plunge.

Steer your way to savings

Utilitywise, which has switched 1,000 meters so far, estimates 1.2 million businesses have not taken the opportunity to share a pot of savings worth £200 million.

Lack of awareness may be one issue. At the end of last year, its new water survey revealed only one in four businesses felt informed about the legislation or the potential benefits of deregulation.

Another factor may be the modest nature of the available savings – around 10%. However, even the smallest saving helps business in these challenging times. Besides, savings are expected to improve in three years’ time when industry watchdog Ofwat presides over a reduction in wholesale prices.

Other positive water ways

Switching water supplier has another benefit apart from lower water tariffs. Businesses with multiple sites can now get one streamlined bill instead of different bills from each water area – much less hassle.

There are also other cost-effective ways of dealing with water suppliers. Utilitywise believes multi-utility bundles could also save business owners up to 25% by bundling electricity, gas and water into one contract.

It has urged Ofwat to make sure companies are aware of the water options open to them.

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