It powers sanitation and hygiene, keeps your employees hydrated and the kettle full.
Yet supplying your business with water costs money. Now that the water market is open for business, you can shop around for the best deal on your water.
Here at Tariff.com, we’ve made it our mission to help businesses get the most from their utilities, including water. If you’re looking to explore the water market, this is the guide is for you. We’ve pulled together everything you need to know about the open water market.
Let’s take a closer look at the water market and how your business could save money on your water utility bills.
For a long time, businesses were not able to choose who provided their water and wastewater services. While the water sector was privatised in the 80s, they were restricted to getting their water supply from their regional monopoly. In 2017, the English water market was officially deregulated and became open to competition.
Now, over 1.2 million businesses, charities and public sector organisations in England and Scotland can choose where they get their water from. This allows water providers to compete with one another and passes on benefits to businesses and consumers. As the open water market is only for businesses and organisations, non-eligible and households customers will continue to be serviced by their regional providers.
Now the commercial water market is open to competition, the water market works just like any other utility market like electricity and gas. The retail water suppliers purchase a wholesale service such as supplying water or removing wastewater and then pass on packages to businesses, charities and organisations looking for a water service.
With a range of suppliers that customers can choose from, the retail providers will have to compete with one another to win customers and new business. In theory, this will result in increased benefits for customers (See “What are the benefits of the open water market for businesses?” for more information).
Much like the energy market, the water sector is monitored by a regulatory authority, in this case, Ofwat. Ofwat stands for Office of Water Services and is the non-ministerial government department responsible for the regulation of the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales. Founded in 1989, Ofwat strives to deliver value for money to consumers, as well as plan for the changing demands and challenges of water provision.
In Scotland, the water market is regulated by the Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS) and operated by the Central Market Agency (CMA).
In the UK and Scotland, there are 29 licensed water retailers. Whether you’re a business, charity, or public sector organisation, you can shop around to find the best prices, deals and customer service.
The water market in Wales is different to England and Scotland. In Wales, only customer sites using more than 50 megalitres of water a year can switch suppliers, and this is only on clean water services. For more information about the Welsh Water Market, visit the Welsh Water website here.
A water audit compares what you’ve been charged with the volume of water you use. This can help to spot any inconsistencies in your water bills, as well as highlight areas where you could reduce water consumption and the associated cost.
Water audits will also check that you’re on the correct banding for your surface water, sewerage and drainage charges, which differentiate based on things like land size and property type. Audits can also ensure that you’re paying the right amount of taxes (incl. VAT) for your type of organisation.
By carrying out a water audit, you could possibly see a 30% reduction in your water bills and even discover past overcharges which you can claim back from your supplier.
A water usage survey details how much water your business property or site uses. To do this, your supplier will need to analyse your bills, as well as ask you specific questions about your business and industry.
This could include things like staff levels, the number of toilets and any other facilities that use water. Carrying out a survey will help to give an in-depth report about water usage across your business.
Now you know what the open water market is, let’s take a closer look at the benefits it could bring to your business.
Lower charges and bills
With increased competition between water suppliers, you could see a 5-10% reduction in your water bills, saving your business money.
Better customer service
In order to win new customers, water suppliers not only need to offer lower prices but also better customer service.
Improved value for money
Water retailers will be looking to provide USPs to attract new customers. This could include things like water efficiency services.
Less admin for you
If your business has multiple properties, your supplier could help you manage the administrative side by consolidating your bills.
If you’re looking to get a better deal on your water bills, get in touch with the Tariff.com team today. Our consultants will analyse your water bills to see if you could be getting a better deal elsewhere. If you choose to make the switch, we’ll help switch you over to your new supplier. The result? Cheaper water for your business without the hassle of comparing and switching.
Whether you’re looking to save money on your water bills or start your net-zero journey, you should choose Tariff.com as your trusted partner and consultant. Here’s why we think you should choose us.
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Whatever your business goals, whether you’re looking to reduce your carbon emissions or take control of your business bills, we can help your business act, plan, and change for a better future.
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We understand that running a business is no easy feat. That’s why our team are here to take care of your energy and carbon emissions on your behalf. We take the stress out of managing your utilities.
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At Tariff.com, we’re dedicated to helping both businesses and our planet. Where possible, we’ll always offer your business a sustainable solution on your energy and utilities. You can then decide if going green is right for you.
At Tariff.com, we’ve made it our mission to help businesses make a positive change for the future. Whether you’re looking to switch utility providers, optimise your energy usage or join the fight against climate change, our consultants are here to support you and your business.
If you’re ready to act, plan and change, get in touch with the Tariff.com team today. Our friendly consultants can provide all the information and guidance you need to better manage your business utilities or take your business net-zero.
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