Savings and switching in the new water market

Water deregulation provides a fantastic opportunity for 1.2 million businesses in the UK to trim their overheads and save around 10% or more on their water bills. Utilitywise estimate savings of over £200m are available on a national scale.

However, recently published statistics by MOSL (the Market operator) show that the much heralded ‘#Openwatermarket’ is failing small businesses especially and switching is actually decelerating.

a.     Only 2% (61k) of the 2.6m water meters have switched in the first 6 months

b.       This equates to less than 1% of businesses, as focus has been on larger corporate businesses with hundreds/thousands of meters in their estates.

c.     The number of meter switches fell 31% in the second quarter to just 25,010

d.       At this rate it will take until 2039 for all businesses in England to switch water supplier

Utilitywise would like Ofwat to be empowered by DEFRA to make the necessary changes that the water market needs.

WHAT POLICIES DO WE WANT FROM GOVERNMENT?

Utilitywise’s four-point plan to make the water market truly open, honest and competitive calls for:

1.       Enforced standardised and simplified pricing that is published in the public domain, giving businesses the chance to easily compare like-for-like water contracts and ensure all retailers are making prices available to out of region customers.

2.       Ensure that customers receive clear offers and tariffs from retailers no matter their location, by standardising the use of customer data held in MOSL, the central customer database used by the industry.

3.       Improved levels of understanding amongst businesses, encouraging them to review their current water contracts, and how to assess different options available.

4.       A review and assessment of the Scottish Water market conditions, to deliver comparable margins available to retailers to make competition come to life

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