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how to make the switch

If your business is eligible, switching to a new water retailer is easy.

Once you have decided to switch it should take no more than one month to complete.

There are five simple steps to switching:

Only these water and wastewater retailers are licensed to serve eligible businesses.

You can also get advice from trades unions or business groups, or consider using third party intermediaries who provide advice and information which may help you buy water for your business – though they may charge for their services.

If you have received a call from a company claiming to be a retailer who is offering you a contract with them, it’s important to establish if they are a genuine retailer. Check that they appear on this list and that they have exactly the same name and contact details.

You can also check the advice and guidance on the Consumer Council for Water’s ‘Cold caller advice for your business page‘.

determine your water use

Check your latest water bill to find out exactly how much water you use, how much you pay for it and how you pay.

It will be useful to know your:

  • annual water use
  • current payment method
  • current bills and charges information
  • service supply point identification number or numbers (SPID)

check your current deal

Knowing the terms of your current contract(s) will also help you get a better deal.

You can decide to switch your:

  • water supply
  • wastewater removal
  • both water services

You may want to talk to your current water supplier to see if you can improve your current contract before shopping around. You can compare what they’re offering with other deals on offer before deciding whether to switch.

If you are on a default tariff (also known as a deemed tariff) your retailer has an obligation to tell you about contracts which may be better for you.

shop around

It is always good to look at what options are available to you – even if your water retailer is offering you a good deal already.

See all the licensed water retailers and wholesalers and find out what contracts and offers are available by:

  • visiting the retailers’ websites
  • checking comparison websites
  • contacting utility/energy brokers and business support services for advice

To help inform your decisions, take a look at retailer complaints information published by the Consumer Council for Water (CCW) and the other performance data such as time to install meters and frequency of their reading, as well as ability to identify potential leaks in unoccupied premise. This information is provided by Market Operator Services Ltd (MOSL).


agree a deal

Speak to your chosen retailer(s) to see what they can offer. You should talk to your current provider too, as you may be able to negotiate a better deal.

Each retailer will:

  • check and confirm your eligibility
  • be able to give you any other information you need
  • answer your questions about the contract

make your choice

If you are eligible to switch and wish to do so, your chosen retailer(s) will be able to start the process.

While the request to switch is being processed, you have at least seven days to change your mind. This cooling off period is in line with the distance selling regulations.

You can choose to stop the switching process at any time. You do not have to give a reason to stop the switch.

When the switching process is complete, you will be informed and:

  • your current retailer will issue your final bill for you to pay any remaining charges
  • your next water bill will be issued by your new retailer for you to pay as agreed

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