Rules and regulations around who supplies your water are changing. For the first time in England it will be possible for you to switch who supplies your business's water to get the best deal possible for you.
As you may already be aware, the Government has announced plans to deregulate the water industry in England by 1st April 2017. However, what may not be clear is how this change will impact you and your business.
The good news is that the planned changes aim to place Britain’s business customers at the heart of the industry, meaning that you will ultimately stand to benefit from this change in the market. Below we take a look at exactly what changes are being made, and how you and your business are going to benefit from them.
First of all, it’s helpful to note that you can expect a deregulated water industry to operate in a similar fashion to the current energy market. With this in mind, the first – and possibly most notable – benefit of deregulation is that it will help break the monopoly of the current water supplier in each geographical region.
As it stands, each region can have water and sewerage supplied by one or a number of incumbent companies. This means that if you’re unsatisfied with the quality of service that you’re currently receiving from your supplier, you cannot simply compare business water quotes in order to find a better deal. However, in a deregulated market, the number of suppliers who are able to offer you a business water or sewerage quote is increased, meaning your business is no longer held hostage to poor customer service. What’s more, if you currently have your sewerage and water supplied by different companies, you have the option to consolidate both services under one supplier in a deregulated market.
Along with increased competition, you can also expect business water prices to fall as suppliers begin competing with each other for new customers. Scotland – who are currently the only country to have a deregulated water industry – have shown that we can also expect much more innovation around the benefits that business water customers will be offered by their suppliers - meaning that price may not be your sole motivator when switching.
It’s worth noting that currently no agreement to deregulate the water industry has been reached in Wales or Northern Ireland, which means that you are currently unable to switch your business’s water in these areas.
For businesses operating in Scotland under an existing deregulated water market, it is possible to switch your business water supplier immediately to a better deal. In total, you can expect the business water switching process to take around seven days from start to finish.
In Scotland, the water infrastructure – such as the pipes used to supply water to premises - is owned by Scottish Water. They operate as a wholesaler, selling their water and sewerage services to other companies, known as suppliers.
It is up to the suppliers to decide how much they charge their customers for the water they use. However, in the interests of keeping Scottish business water prices competitive, the Water Industry Commission does impose an upper limit to the price that business water suppliers can charge. If suppliers breach this upper limit, then the commission will impose fines on them.
Once a supplier is licensed to sell water in Scotland, they will package their services with other benefits to make their offering more attractive to business customers.
You will be pleased to know that running a Scottish business water comparison is actually fairly straight forward. You can either approach each supplier individually with your Supply Point Identification Number (SPID), which can be found on your meter. Or, you can use the services of a business water broker, who will collate quotes from business water suppliers for you.
As you might imagine, collating quotes yourself is a time consuming process, and can detract your attention away from running your business. This is why many Scottish business owners choose to use the services of a broker.
Not only can a broker save you time and money by collating quotes on your behalf, but they can also help advise you on which quotes best meet the needs of your business.
If you’re interested in running a Scottish business water comparison, fill out the call back form below, and one of our business savings experts will be in touch to help you save money.
Whether your business operates in England, or Scotland, you may be wondering how you can ensure that you fully benefit from the deregulation changes that are occurring.
One key lesson that we must take from the deregulation of the energy market in England, Scotland and Wales is that apathy towards switching will almost certainly cost you money.
Currently on the business energy market, many customers continue to over-pay on the energy that they use because they have not yet switched from the supplier that provided their energy prior to the deregulation.
You should look to run a business water comparison as soon as the water market is deregulated in your geographical region. This will allow you to find, not only more competitive business water prices, but also a supplier that may offer your better benefits than your current business water supplier.
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