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FAQs

Got a question? You may find the answer in the frequently asked questions below. If not, please submit your question and we’ll try to help.

Will I have lower bills?

Whether you save money and the amount you save will depend on the deal you negotiate with your existing, or new, retailer.

As well as considering the price per litre, don’t forget to consider other services your retailer might provide you with, for example how much advice and support you will be given to reduce your consumption or identify leaks on your premises. Customers are encouraged to shop around to find the best deal for them.

Will my retailer offer bundled services and consolidated bills?

Services will vary from retailer to retailer, but bundled services, tailored packages and consolidated bills (receiving one bill instead of many) are just some of the offers that are available.

Will I get help to manage my water usage?

Now that you have a choice of retailer, companies will be competing to offer the best water efficiency and sustainability advice to help retain – or win – your business.

Ask water retailers for information and advice about how your business could reduce its water usage.

Can residential (domestic) customers switch?

No. Residential (domestic) water customers cannot currently switch retailer.

How do I find out who my current water or wastewater retailer is?

You can find out who your current retailer is by checking your most recent water bill.

If you can’t find a bill, or have recently moved to new business premises, you can contact any retailer and they can tell you which water or wastewater retailer your premises is currently registered to. You can find the retailers and their contact information elsewhere on the Open Water website.

What is a SPID?

SPID stands for Supply Point Identification. The SPID will be used by your new retailer to switch your retail services.

Your SPID can be found on your latest water bill. It will be 8 digits long. You may have separate SPIDs for your water and your wastewater.

Although it is helpful to provide the SPID to a retailer, you do not need to know your SPID number(s) if you want to switch retailer.

For more information about switching retailer, see the how to switch page.

Do I have to use a broker or other third party intermediary?

No. However customers can use brokers or third party intermediaries (TPIs) to help them shop around if they wish.

It is important to understand that the best deal may not be found with the help of a broker or TPI. Some retailers may only offer their best deals to customers directly. TPIs also charge for providing their service to retailers or customers.

For more information about switching retailer, see the how to switch page.

Where can I get updates about the market?

You can keep up to date with the latest news about Open Water and the retail water market using this site, which is the official website for the Open Water market. It is impartial and lists all competitors in the market. Retailers are not charged a fee to be listed.

You can also sign up to our update email and follow @OpenWaterOrg on Twitter.

How will you ensure fair competition and ‘a level playing field’ for all retailers?

To operate in the market, all retailers must apply for a licence, the water supply and/or sewerage licence (WSSL). The licence is granted by Ofwat.

Market participants, including retailers are also required to follow a series of market codes that set out the rules for operating in the business retail market – these seek to ensure all retailers are treated fairly and equally. Retailers and wholesalers are also subject to competition law obligations.

If I have business premises in both England and Wales, can I switch supplier for the whole business?

Whether your business is eligible to switch will depend on which wholesaler (or wholesalers) physically supplies your water and/or wastewater services currently.

The eligibility guide will help you to work out whether your business may be eligible.

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