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Posted: 17/02/20

Ofwat stepping in to protect customers of Tor Water Limited

Update 24.02.20

Customers affected by the revocation of Tor Water’s licence were allocated a new retailer on Friday 21 February. Customers should expect to hear from their new retailer shortly, at which point they will be able to negotiate a new deal but can shop around for a better deal from other retailers should they wish.

Ofwat has announced that it has revoked the Water Supply and Sewerage Licences (WSSL) of Tor Water Limited. The revocation will come into effect as of 6pm Wednesday 19 February 2020. We are now stepping in to use our powers under the Interim Supply Code to ensure customers have a new retailer as soon as possible.

We wish to reassure customers that the provision of water and wastewater services to your premises will not be affected.

Customers do not need to take any action, there are procedures in place to ensure affected customers are allocated a new retailer.

It is always difficult to see a company fail, but this is the market in action and we would expect to see companies both enter and exit a competitive market.

As the market structures evolve, we will continue to make sure that customers are protected and benefit from competition.

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Ofwat has announced that it has revoked the Water Supply and Sewerage Licences (WSSL) of Tor Water Limited. The revocation will come into effect as of 6pm Wednesday 19 February 2020. We are now stepping in to use our powers under the Interim Supply Code to ensure customers have a new retailer as soon as possible.

We wish to reassure customers that the provision of water and wastewater services to your premises will not be affected.

Customers do not need to take any action, there are procedures in place to ensure affected customers are allocated a new retailer.

It is always difficult to see a company fail, but this is the market in action and we would expect to see companies both enter and exit a competitive market.

As the market structures evolve, we will continue to make sure that customers are protected and benefit from competition.

Frequently asked questions

Will my supply be cut off?

Your water supply and/or wastewater service won’t be cut off or disrupted, and you won’t notice any change to your supply while we move you to a new retailer.

Who will choose my new retailer?  

Ofwat are working with the Market Operator – MOSL to make sure all customers are allocated to a new retailer. Once that has happened, the new retailer will be in touch with you to confirm the details.

When will I know who the new retailer is and the date I’ll be switched to them?  

We’ll work as quickly as we can to complete your transfer to a new retailer  And they will then be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Should I switch retailer now?  

We are working to find you a new retailer. You will not be able to switch retailer until after we have completed this process. Once you have been contacted by your new retailer, you can then ask them to put you onto the most appropriate deal to suit your needs, or you can  shop around to find a different retailer. See www.open-water.org.uk  for further details.

I’m already in the process of switching retailer and it’s not yet complete. Will my switch go through?  

If it’s already in process, you will continue to be moved to the new retailer you have chosen. You don’t need to do anything.

I’m in credit to Tor Water. Will I get this money back? 

You should speak to Tor Water about any money you have paid in advance.

I’m paying back debt to Tor Water. Will I still pay this to my new retailer? 

No, you should discuss the payment of any money you owe to Tor Water directly.

I’m in credit to Tor Water for a pre-payment but I may owe money for supplies I have received. Do I still have to pay this? 

You should be able to set any credit due to you from Tor Water against any money you owe, and only pay the balance, if any. If your credit is greater than what you owe, you may not have to pay anything, but as explained above you will need to discuss this with Tor Water.

I have been switched to the retailer I previously left – do I have any choice? 

The process means that customers are automatically allocated a different retailer. Once you have been contacted by your new retailer you can choose to shop around to find a different retailer or you may choose to negotiate a deal with the retailer you have been allocated too.

I’ve been approached by a Third Party Intermediary (TPI) about using their services to find a new retailer. Do I need to use a TPI? 

All affected customers will be transferred to a new retailer as part of the Interim Supply Process. Once the transfer is complete, you are free to switch to any licenced retailer in the business retail market – a full list of licenced retailers can be found here.

Third Party Intermediaries (TPIs) are organisations and individuals that offer paid-for advice and information which may help you buy water and wastewater services for your business and broker a deal with a retailer.

TPIs do not provide your water or wastewater services and your contract will always be with your chosen retailer. Water and wastewater retailers must obtain a letter of authority from a micro-business customer where that customer has a TPI acting on their behalf. More information on this process can be found here.

TPIs are not regulated by Ofwat but we introduced the principles for a Voluntary Code of Conduct to provide those customers who go through a broker to secure their water or wastewater services with some protection.

Further help and advice 

More information on the interim supply process can be found here. If your question isn’t answered here and you have concerns about your water supply, problems or complaints, you should contact the Consumer Council for Water at www.ccwater.org.uk

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