TOP
home > about Open Water > FAQs ( Page 2)

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 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.

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 13 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.

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.

My water supplier is based in Wales but my premises are in England. Can I switch retailer?

Currently businesses, charities and public sector customers who are supplied by a water company based wholly or mainly in Wales (by geographic size), are not able to change their retailer unless they use more than 50 million litres of water per year.

This is because the Welsh Government has decided to adopt a different approach to England. Welsh legislation currently stipulates that only those non-household customers who use more than 50 million litres per year can switch.

What information can I expect from my retailer?

Each retailer is required, under our Business Customer Protection Code of Practice, to provide a certain amount of information to you with each bill. This includes your supply point identification number(s) or SPIDs, your tariff, how your bill has been calculated and contact details for your retailer.

Where can I get advice on the retail water market?

You can get help and advice about the retail water market from various places, including the Consumer Council for Water (CCW), organisations that represent your industry or sector, and regional Chambers of Commerce.

There may also be professional consultants that can offer advice and help with the switching process. Third party intermediaries (TPIs) and brokers may also be able to help but they may charge you or the retailers for the service they provide.

You might also want to look at The Water Report’s Customer Guide. This is an independent guide to the market that includes a retailer-by-retailer listing to help you find a retailer that is right for you. Please note that this guide was produced when the market opened in April 2017. Our retailer webpage has the most updated information including any new retailers who were granted licenses since the market opened.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish.
read more