Deregulation of the non-domestic water market in England is set to take place in April 2017, following the example set by Scotland in 2008. But what are the reasons for deregulation, and what benefits could it bring for the business customers affected by the change?
The changes in brief
Back in 2008, Scotland saw its non-domestic water market open up; a move which meant that 130,000 businesses were given the choice to switch supplier. Scottish Water remained the sole Scottish wholesaler and retained complete control of the water infrastructure, whilst also creating B2B retail arm Business Stream. Alongside this, deregulation allowed several new retailers of various sizes to join the marketplace. These Licensed Providers now buy water services from Scottish Water, bundle this with their own services and added-value offerings, then sell the resulting packages on to Scotland’s businesses.
England’s own deregulation will see a similar thing happen. Currently a regional monopoly of more than twenty different companies, England will need to undergo administrative changes that are a little more complex in nature, but which will essentially mean the same thing: Whilst nothing changes about the water that reaches consumers or the infrastructure it passes through along the way, account provision and billing will be managed by a business’ Licensed Provider of choice.