The deregulation of the water industry has given business owners far more control over which business water supplier they choose. For many, this major change has proven to be an opportunity to access better deals, more reliable suppliers, and tailored wastewater packages.
Deregulation can be confusing, especially for business owners who are more focused on the smooth running of their day-to-day operations. At Business Energy, we arm business owners with all the information they need to make informed decisions about their monthly expenses. In this article, our experts explain exactly what deregulation is, how to find out who your business water supplier is, and explain how to change business water suppliers.
Deregulation of the Water Industry
The business water market was deregulated on the 1st of April 2017. Before water became deregulated, business owners only had one choice for their water
and wastewater needs. Regional water suppliers dominated the water landscape. Business owners automatically got water from their regional suppliers, which are now called wholesalers.
Since the deregulation of the market, business customers have many more choices when it comes to their water needs. Over 1.2 million businesses, charities, and public sector organisations can now choose between different retailers. Business owners secure water services from retailers, which get water from their regional wholesalers.
When this change happened, business owners automatically became customers of the retailer in their region. They also had the option to switch suppliers. Deregulation has created a great deal of competition between business water suppliers. More and more suppliers are offering tailored packages and sign-on bonuses to secure new businesses.
This new landscape has also created confusion. Some business owners were unaware of the deregulation of the water sector. Others are confused about their rights and obligations towards their current suppliers. The most frequent question that business owners ask us is ‘who is my business water supplier?’
Finding Your Business Water Supplier
Finding your business water supplier does not have to be difficult. At Business Energy, we encourage entrepreneurs all over the UK to take charge of their monthly expenses. The first step towards negotiating a better tariff or switching suppliers is finding out who your current supplier is.
The easiest way to find out the name of your business water supplier is to look at your most recent bill. All water bills have one thing in common. You will always find the name of your supplier on the bill. This information is usually the first thing you will see on the bill or is at least in the top half of the bill.
If you do not have a bill to hand, you can find the name of your supplier by looking at the wholesaler for your region. When the water industry was deregulated, wholesalers began supplying water to retailers in their region. If you have not switched to another supplier since then, you will have the same retailer.
Cheapest Business Water Suppliers
Business water rates vary from supplier to supplier. The rate that you will pay for water services depends on the types of services you need and where your business is located.
Here are the average amounts that small business owners paid in water services from the top ten business water suppliers in the UK in 2020. These figures are based on 200 cubic metres of annual water consumption.
- Thames Water: £492
- Severn Trent: £559
- United Utilities: £594
- Northumbrian Water: £602
- Yorkshire Water: £602
- Anglian Water: £666
- Southern Water: £744
- Wessex Water: £838
- South West Water: £1,125
- Business Stream: £1,165
Here are the average amounts that small business owners paid in water services from the top ten business water suppliers in the UK in 2020. These figures are based on 1,500 cubic metres of annual water consumption.
- Thames Water: £3,275
- Northumbrian Water: £3,490
- Severn Trent: £3,746
- Anglian Water: £4,102
- United Utilities: £4,175
- Yorkshire Water: £4,200
- Southern Water: £5,147
- Wessex Water: £5,729
- Business Stream: £6,915
- South West Water: £7,951
There is a lot of variation between the different tariffs available on the market. The top ten best suppliers in the UK charge very different rates. We recommend using a water comparison generator to gain a comprehensive view of the best options for your business.
How To Switch Business Water Suppliers?
Business owners always ask us how difficult it is to change business water suppliers is. We work hard behind the scenes to make the process as easy as possible. We know how difficult it is to juggle all of the obligations that come with running a business. Our service makes switching to a better deal easier than ever.
A lot of business owners fall at the first hurdle when it comes to switching. When you choose Business Energy, you can focus on the things that matter to your business. Let us take care of all the admin work.
Our experts have found the best deals for your business. Simply put your details into our water comparison generator. Wait a minute, and you will see lots of different offers that fit your criteria. Once you have chosen a business water supplier, we will handle the rest.
Can I Switch Business Water Suppliers Now?
Your business might not be eligible to switch business water suppliers. You can change business water suppliers as long as your business meets the eligibility criteria. The criteria for business owners who want to switch suppliers is far stricter than it is for homeowners who want to switch.
Ofwat, the regulatory body for business water, has created a set of criteria for business owners who wants to check their eligibility. In simple terms, you are most likely to be able to switch if your business premises are located in England or Scotland. Your premises must also be used primarily for business purposes.
If your water and wastewater supplier is located in Wales, you will probably not be eligible to switch. You will also be ineligible to switch if you use your business premises for domestic purposes. It is always a good idea to call your supplier if you are unsure about your eligibility.