How to Switch Business Water Suppliers

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May 14, 2024
Min Read

Changes in Water Procurement

Since April 2017, eligible businesses, charities, and public sector organisations are no longer limited to buying their water from regional water companies. Now you may choose a water supply that best suits your business needs and even separate suppliers for your business fresh water and wastewater.

Read the guide to learn how we can help with both these options and provide more water-efficiency solutions for your business.

Who Provides My Business Water? Suppliers vs. Retailers

While the water industry often uses "supplier" for both, it's important to distinguish between water retailers and suppliers to avoid confusion.

As a business, you can choose your water retailer based on price and service. Here's a breakdown of the difference:

Water Supplier is the wholesaler responsible for the physical infrastructure delivering your water.

• They own and maintain the pipes, reservoirs, and treatment works.

• They supply treated drinking water and remove wastewater.

Water Retailer: This company buys water services (including supply and wastewater removal) in bulk from the wholesaler. They handle your day-to-day water needs:

• Billing

• Meter reading

• Customer service (complaints, enquiries)

You can choose a water retailer (often called ‘supplier’) that best suits your business needs based on price and service.

Who Can Switch their Business Water Supplier

Your current water company will ensure you're eligible before finalising the switch. However, there are ways to self-check if you can switch your business water supplier beforehand:

• Ofwat: Download their eligibility guidance.

• Open Water: Use their online eligibility checker.

Why Switch Your Business Water Supplier?

• Switching water suppliers gives you more control over billing and potential savings.

• A more competitive market often translates to better customer service, with suppliers providing more responsive support.

• For businesses with multiple locations, switching can mean centralising your water supply under one provider and simplifying billing and administration across all your sites.

How Long Will it Take to Switch?

In most cases, switching your business water supplier is a quick and easy process that should not take longer than a month. However, there may be slight variations depending on your situation. For example, if your business needs a new water meter installed, the timeline could be extended a bit.

How to Switch Business Water Suppliers

The wide range of options available in the market can lead to pressure to make the right choice. Our utility experts can take the hassle out of choosing and negotiating the right water supplier contract for your business.

Our services:

• Meter reading

• Billing Validation

• Rebates for incorrect billing

• Simple and effective water-saving solutions

Say goodbye to billing errors and disconnection notices – enjoy a streamlined service you can trust for all your business water contracts.

Other Ways We Help:

• Site audits

• Water footprint

• Leak detection and repair

• Refunds

• Benchmarking

• Tariff/contract assessment

• Account management

• Contract renewals

With our support, you can enjoy an efficient solution to what can be a distracting administrative chore. Download our case study to learn how we helped a major UK fruit supplier centralise their billing and get significant wastewater refunds.

Business Water Management

We procure tariffs and contracts designed to suit any business size. That way, we can provide the best water procurement and management service that will help you save water and money and reduce waste and environmental impact.

As your water advisor, we:

• Ensure you comply with all regulations to protect the environment and prevent water pollution.

• Manage all surface and drainage charges admin.

• Compare water tariffs and help you switch.

Water Intensive Industries

Water remains a low-cost resource in the UK, but water-intensive industries and manufacturers are taking proactive steps to improve their water efficiency. This aligns with the broader national effort to optimise our use of natural resources.

Learn how to stay ahead of environmental regulations impacting manufacturers, including those for new developments and trade effluent permits, with our guide on Water Management and Regulation for Manufacturers.

What is Trade Effluent?

Trade effluent can be wastewater contaminated with materials such as fats, oils and greases, chemicals, and detergents. You may need an environmental permit if your business is involved in an activity that could:

• pollute the air, water or land

• increase flood risk

• adversely affect land drainage

Check if you need an environmental permit for liquid trade effluent or contact our water experts for a free consultation.

Water Company Plans

Water companies set out their proposed spending on infrastructure and improvements to the water system every five years. These water company plans, as they’re known, invest in improving water supply resilience and the environment, helping to make rivers and beaches cleaner, reducing leaks, supply interruptions, and storm overflows.

Water companies submitted their plans for 2025-2030 to Ofwat in October 2023. You can find the proposed increases for water in your company bill here. Like every year, prices for wastewater are expected to be released on the 1st of April.

Speak to Our Business Water Experts

Unlike household water, business water can be influenced by infrastructure investment costs, wastewater charges, and wholesale water price fluctuation. This can make it difficult for you to budget accurately for your business water expenses or:

• Simplify your payments.

• Identify historical overcharges and ensure future accuracy.

• Receive cost-saving advice for the duration of your contracts.

• Get the most suitable water tariffs and secure your future budget.

Partner with us and let our business water experts handle everything. We will help you save water, time, and money, and free you up to run your business with complete peace of mind.