The retail water market
Since April 2017 businesses and other non-household customers have been able to choose their water and sewerage retailer. This was driven by a government initiative called Open Water to encourage competition in the water industry as well as better, more tailored services for non-household customers. It has created the largest water market in the world and has been the biggest change to the UK water industry since privatisation.
How does it work?
We and other water companies are wholesalers for non-household customers in our region and will continue to supply them with same water as well as take away and treat their waste. Meanwhile retailers have entered the market and compete for these customers.
What is a retailer?
Retailers bill non-household customers and hold the main relationship with them.
They are the first point of contact for non-household customers when they have an enquiry about their water and sewerage services or bill.
They compete with other retailers to provide the best services and deals for non-household customers.
What is a wholesaler?
Wholesalers supply water and provide sewerage services to non-household customers on behalf of the retailer.
They maintain their water and sewerage network and all other assets.
They carry out operational work, such as leak repairs or meter replacements for non-household customers on behalf of the retailer.
How do I find out more about retailers?
Your latest bill should provide you with details about your current retailer.
For new customers, you will need to appoint a retailer to provide retail services.
You can find out information on eligibility and how to establish your current retailer and switch or find a new retailer at www.open-water.org.uk. Alternatively you can contact your retailer.
Who should I contact?
If you have an urgent enquiry about your water supply or sewerage services, please call us on 0345 600 4 600.
For billing and general enquiries, please contact your retailer directly.