water is open for business

From April 2017, over 1.2 million eligible businesses and other non-household customers in England will be able to choose their supplier of water and wastewater retail services.

The smallest high street shops to the largest public authorities will be able to shop around and choose their retailer or renegotiate their existing deal.

If your business is eligible, you could benefit from:

  • lower bills and better value for money
  • better customer service
  • more tailored services to suit your business needs
  • help to become more water-efficient

The new market also offers new opportunities for businesses to become licensed suppliers of water and wastewater retail services.

If your business premises are currently served by a supplier that is based wholly or mainly in Wales, you will be able to choose your water retailer only if you use 50 million litres of water or more per year.

better for business,
better for the environment

Opening up the retail water market for businesses and other non-households will deliver a range of benefits for customers. It will also benefit the environment too, with:

  • more efficient use of water
  • reduced carbon emissions from cuts in water use
  • more innovation and better use of technology

Customers in Scotland have seen benefits since the Scottish water market opened to businesses in 2008.



how the new water market works

When the market opens, eligible businesses and other non-household customers will be able to shop around for their water and wastewater retailer like they do for other goods and services. Retail suppliers will compete for customers by offering them the best deal.

Licensed retailers will buy wholesale water services – the physical supply of water and the removal of wastewater – from licensed regional water companies or ‘wholesalers’. The retailers can then package them together with other retail services and compete for customers.

Customers will be free to choose their retailer by looking at who has the best deal for them.

Regional water companies will continue to supply your water, treat your wastewater and maintain the water and wastewater pipe networks.