Majority of SMEs ‘still unaware of new retail water market’

More than half of micro, small and medium sized businesses are still unaware of the new retail water market in England. That’s according to a survey by the Consumer Council […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

More than half of micro, small and medium sized businesses are still unaware of the new retail water market in England.

That’s according to a survey by the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater), aimed at tracking awareness of the market.

While 43% of SMEs said they were aware they could switch their water retailer after the market opened in England on 1st April this year, fewer businesses (26%) had a clear understanding that choice only related to retail services such as billing, meter reading and customer service.

Around 52% said they were likely to explore their choices during the next six months and two in five businesses that were unlikely to switch or negotiate a better water deal felt their organisation did not use enough water to save any money.

Around one in five said they did not need to switch as they were happy with their current deal.

CCWater suggests retailers need to do more to explain how switching can benefit even the smallest business, through the provision of tailored services, simpler billing and better customer service.

Tony Smith, CCWater Chief Executive said: “We’re encouraged to see awareness levels rising. However, there is a lot more work to be done by all of us in the water sector to reach out to small businesses and inform them of their right to switch or negotiate a better deal.

“Small businesses, in particular, would benefit from more communication and clarity about the retail market and the opportunities it offers for their organisation.”