* WHAT IS WATER DEREGULATION? As of April 1st 2017 the non-domestic water market will be deregulated. Like Gas and Electricity, businesses in England (not Wales) will be able to choose which company supplies their water and waste water services. The changes come after the business water industry in Scotland was deregulated in 2008. Wales opted-out of water deregulation.
* WHO CAN SWITCH PROVIDERS? Any company that is using more than 5 mega litres (5 million litres) of water per site, per year, can change water supplier.
* WHICH WATER SUPPLIERS CAN BE CHOSEN? New companies will emerge onto the market. Many are likely to have utilities backgrounds. Some energy suppliers will add water to their list of services and others will team up with regional water companies. Some regional water companies will start operating on a national basis and others will choose to withdraw completely – leaving those with contracts having to change water supplier immediately. From April 2017 you could automatically be put onto a default tariff with existing water suppliers should they continue to operate. These tariffs are likely to be high which is why we urge you to start preparing now.
* WHEN WILL I FIND OUT IF MY SUPPLIER IS PARTICIPATING? The regulator has given all suppliers until October 2016 to declare their intentions – your current supplier will be sending you notice of this very soon. The majority of businesses should by now have had feedback from their supplier.
* WHEN WILL THE CHANGE TAKE PLACE? The scheduled date for the deregulation of water is 1st April 2017.
* WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DO NOT CHANGE MY SUPPLIER? If your current supplier maintains their license to act as a supplier, then nothing will change. They may automatically put you onto their default tariff. The default tariff may possibly be more expensive than the tariff other suppliers are offering at the time of deregulation. Gain a free, no obligation quote from us to see how they compare. If your current supplier has decided to exit the commercial market and you do not switch suppliers, your supply will be allocated by the central market agency. You will need to change immediately to avoid paying higher prices.
* HOW LONG DOES THE SWITCHING PROCESS TAKE? In Scotland, it takes an average 28 days to switch. Businesses should firstly provide information about their water supply including the most recent bill. A range of options can then be prepared in an effort to simplify the whole process and help find the right package at the best price.
* WILL A BUSINESS SAVE MONEY IF SWITCHING SUPPLIER? You are likely to save money. Whilst initial savings may not be massive, Scotland’s example shows that savings can grow year upon year. The current savings in Scotland are between 10 – 25%, but they have been deregulated since 2008. Control Costs will be working closely with water suppliers to find the best agreement for your business.