Water Rates to de-regulate April 17

In April 2017 the remainder of the UK water market will de-regulate following on from Scotland pioneering such de-regulation back in 2008.

This means that all businesses within England and Wales can, for the first time, choose which water supplier they want to use. Up until now only the very largest users of water in England and Wales have been free to switch suppliers.

Looking at how the market has matured in Scotland and the benefits that have been gained by businesses in the country it is exciting times for businesses within the rest of the UK once this de-regulation goes through. New prices are due to be published by suppliers from February 2017 and from then on savings can be made.

In Scotland there have been significant improvements in the water market, including efficiency and customer service, and the expectation has to be that this will be replicated.

Similar to the UK electricity market before its own deregulation in 1998 the water market in England has mostly operated as a series of regional monopolies. This has quite often resulted in business customers with multiple sites having to deal with numerous different suppliers.

With so many water suppliers in operation across the country, this has led to confusion with non-standard billing between suppliers, poor customer service, and an increase in time and money spent on dealing with multiple transactions.

In Scotland these changes have brought over £35 million in savings and a 26% increase in customer satisfaction, lets hope England and Wales benefit equally well.



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