Water procurement & management for businesses
In what was considered to be one of the largest changes in decades, from April 2017 the water market in England was deregulated. Following Scotland’s lead, for the first time non-domestic customers have the ability to select their preferred water supplier.
Historically, businesses were restricted to using the local supplier however now can shop around and search for competitive rates and services that suit their needs. Water deregulation can also be a catalyst for renewed focus on water consumption as suppliers offer solutions that monitor and reduce use.
Benefits for businesses:
- Choice – Business can select a supplier based on cost and the services they offer.
- Improved customer service – Add competition between suppliers should drive improvements behind the quality of the customer service. Any unhappy customer now has the opportunity to move to a more efficient and tentative supplier.
- Collated Utilities – Businesses can now have one supplier for electricity gas and water with the potential for obtaining a better rate with all utilities bundled together.
- Portfolio Management – Multisite customers would have traditionally received invoices from different suppliers if sites were located nationwide. Now it is possible to bring all sites under one supplier.
- Reduce consumption – By accurately monitoring and tracking consumption, it is possible to identify areas for improvements.
What has happened so far?
Many businesses have not rushed to change supplier so far, with approximately 4% of supplies having switched since deregulation.
The market is still very much in its infancy and has experienced multiple teething problems. Customers are yet to experience the improvements in customer service however OFWAT are due to raise the standards with PR19. The framework will provide a resilient long-term future for water by focusing on what matters to the end user at a price they are willing to pay.
The way many retailers are invoicing customers has changed since water deregulation with many now charging in advance based on forecast usage figures. Water wholesalers invoice 6 months in advance therefore many retailers are passing this charge on to the customer straight away, which is an industry first.
How Nationwide Utilities can help.
We have a full and unbiased view of the market and can help find a supplier that is right for you. Whilst financial savings at present may be limited, we can focus on switching to a supplier with a competent customer service and appropriate billing solution.