Customer stakeholder workshop Wednesday 7 December 2016
6 December 2016
Organisations representing more than one hundred thousand business, charity and public sector customers across England are meeting this week to find out what water competition might mean for them and their members.
From April 2017 customers in England, from the smallest micro-businesses and SMEs to the largest local authorities, will be able to choose their water retailer for the first time. It’s the biggest shake-up of the water industry since privatisation in 1989 and will create the largest competitive water market in the world.
Ofwat and the Consumer Council for Water are hosting an event on Wednesday 7 December to explain the anticipated benefits of competition, from lower prices and improved customer service to more tailored services, such as water efficiency measures.
With April 2017 fast approaching the race is now on to ensure that as many companies as possible – particularly SMEs – are aware of the new market ahead of the launch.
According to Claire Forbes, Senior Director of Communications at Ofwat, membership organisations and industry bodies are an important communications channel for the programme:
“The number and diversity of SMEs can mean that they are difficult to reach. Membership organisations and industry representatives such as the Federation of Small Businesses and Chambers of Commerce will play an important role in helping to spread the word about the new market.
“As a trusted source of information, we’re also keen to help the various organisations to provide timely and accurate advice and guidance to their members. It’s very important that customers are able to access impartial guidance and advice so they can make an informed decision about their water retailer, once the market opens.”
Water companies are currently raising awareness via their web sites and business customers’ bills. They are also funding a national campaign that is due to run from January to April 2017.
For more information or to enquire about attending, please contact Helen Robinson-Gordon:
- by email to Helen.RobinsonGordon@Ofwat.gsi.gov.uk
- by phone on 07890 558742