Competition in the commercial water industry is a novel thing. Until 2011, the only businesses which were allowed to choose their water supplier were the very largest consumers, who had to use in the region of 20 Olympic swimming pools’ worth each year to qualify. That applied to just 2000 companies in the UK, and only one had ever bothered to switch anyway
That year, however, the threshold was reduced tenfold, handing power to leave their regional water supplier to 26,000 businesses. Scotland was first to scrap the threshold completely, and then, finally, on 1 April 2017, it was abolished in England too.
Now, all businesses, charities and public organisations in England and Scotland have the power to switch water supplier, regardless of size or the amount of water they use. But what exactly are the benefits of the new system?
Historically, water and sewerage services have been supplied by regional companies which have enjoyed a monopoly of supply in their areas, for both domestic and commercial customers. The lack of competition led many to believe that the industry had become stagnant, that there was a lack of investment in new technologies and processes to deliver better value to customers, that service was often shoddy and prices artificially high.
Opened up to the spur of market forces, it is hoped that water companies will become more efficient, innovative and deliver better service and value as they look to attract and keep customers.
Here are five ways switching water supplier can make a difference for your business.
- Cut Bills
The bottom line is, water and waste services cost money, and different suppliers charge different rates. Every business is interesting in cutting costs, and if you can save money by moving to a different water supplier, why not? Depending on your water usage and sewerage requirements, it is possible to save between 10 and 18 per cent on your bills just by switching
- Get Better Service
Monopolies tend to lead to complacency, and this was widely seen to be the case across the regionalised water industry. If you are not satisfied with the levels of service you receive from your water supplier, look elsewhere. Opening up the market has created new opportunities for water supply companies, too, and they will be falling over themselves to attract new business with high service standards
- Improve efficiency
Part of good service is, of course, giving customers better value by helping them to reduce costs. Water efficiency is a big topic in the industry because, in simple terms, the less water is used overall, the lower rates and bills will become. Lean, customer-focused water companies will be incentivised to improve their own efficiency by, for example, speeding up repair times on cracked pipes and investing in better delivery methods
- Get Better Advice
Switching supplier can also lead to getting better advice on managing your water use and costs in the long term. Again, it is all about service levels, and the freedom businesses now have to find the best
- Start the Process of Cutting Costs Further
Especially for businesses which use large amounts of water, switching supplier is just the first step in managing costs. But it is an essential first step to take – as we have seen, it can lead to better advice, better service, increased efficiency, which will all have an impact on water and sewerage costs in the long term
Find Out More At H2O Building Services, we consider ourselves water audit experts for good reason. We offer a wide range of services aimed at saving our customers money on their water supply and improving water system management. To get more advice on switching water supplier, and to start the process today, please contact us to find out how much you could save.