Don’t dive into water deregulation too quickly

From 1 April 2017 businesses in England will, for the first time, be able to shop around for their water supplier. Over 1.2 million eligible businesses and other ‘non-household’ customers such as public sector bodies and charities in England will be able to choose their water supplier soon.

“Finally some choice!” will be the cry from organisations who are used to being able to select from a range of companies to supply their services. However experts at IU Energy, whilst welcoming deregulation in England as good news, are warning not to enter into deals right away and that waste identification measures will lead to greater savings.

Under the changes, regional water companies will become wholesalers – selling the supply of water and removal of wastewater to licensed retailers. The retailers will then package and sell to non-household customers. Whilst the deregulation date isn’t far away, retailers for the South West have been slow to publish prices.

Duncan Banks, CEO at IU Energy, said: “Clearly competition is a good thing but I’d urge organisations to think carefully before immediately switching to another provider. As an independent company, buying on behalf of clients all over the UK, we believe that
procurement discounts won’t be significant once all of the retail prices are in place.”

He continued: “However if organisations want to significantly reduce water bills, we’d urge them to look closely at waste water, particularly hot water usage. Some of the region’s big sectors – agriculture, care, food & drink and hospitality are still ‘turning and burning’ when they don’t need to at big cost. Those organisations need to be reviewing their water systems to understand usage, drive down waste, and then look to tweak the new water tariffs later.”

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