Are you ready for the Water Deregulation Changes?

If not, you are not alone. From our research, we have identified that the majority of businesses feel unprepared for these imminent changes. There has been very little in the way of education and information from the industry. We were surprised to find that even the suppliers’ own customer service departments were unable to provide us with many answers.

So, what is happening and why?

In 2008 Scotland became the world’s first country to deregulate their water market. The Scottish government felt that Scottish Water held a monopoly and took the brave step to change the structure of the water market by separating the wholesale and retail markets, similarly to the way that energy was deregulated in 1994.

Initially it is felt that here in England, with 14 Wholesalers the savings will be less than in Scotland who have just one player. It is anticipated the saving will be between 4%-8%. However, this is just the beginning, as in 2020 the industry watchdog Ofwat intends to force the wholesale price down and rebalance the market, leading to greater savings.

How does this affect your business?

From April 1st you will be able to shop around for your water in much the same way you do for energy. To do this, you will need to conduct your own tender or partner with somebody like us who can do this for you. The major water companies have already reacted to this and you may have already received post informing you of some changes.

What is happening locally?

Southern Water has decided to exit the retail market and has sold this part of their business to the Scottish firm, Business Stream. However, we only receive our waste water service from Southern, our fresh water supply comes from South East Water who have decided to stay in the retail market. To defend its patch South East Water has applied for a territory waste water licence. Thames water have also decided to exit the retail market, and have sold to another Scottish firm, Castle Water. These changes do not mean that you need to stay with these new suppliers, you are still able to go elsewhere.


If you would like further help or assistance in moving water supplier, please do get in touch.

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