Gym chain seals UK’s largest water supplier switch

Sports and leisure business David Lloyd has switched to newly-formed retailer Water Plus to supply all 84 of its UK health clubs and gyms, marking the largest UK-wide water supplier switch to date.

David Lloyd is currently being serviced by 15 different local water suppliers, with each site billed separately. As of April next year, when the business retail water market opens to competition, Water Plus will provide a single point of contact for water billing at all of the company’s fitness centres.

Water Plus, the new joint venture between Severn Trent and United Utilities, will also provide a water efficiency plan for David Lloyd, which will include the installation of automated meter readings (AMRs) and leak detection software.

David Lloyd utilities and property finance manager Kish Sharma said: “David Lloyd is one of the first companies to switch supplier ahead of the water market opening up to competition next year, setting a precedent for others to follow.

“The freedom to choose a single water company has created a range of benefits for our business, including cost and efficiency savings, as well as consolidated billing across most of the estate. We’re excited to be working with Water Plus.”

The introduction of a competitive water market in Scotland eight years ago has led to huge water bill reductions for businesses across the country – national figures for 2008-2014 revealed £51.7m savings through price discounts, on top of a £43m saving from water-efficiency measures over the six-year period.

Currently, only English businesses that use more than 5,000 cubic metres of water per year are able to choose from a number of water service providers. However, starting from 1 April 2017, all British businesses will be able to buy their water services from different providers.

David Lloyd joins a handful of other businesses that have switched water suppliers ahead of next year’s market deregulation. In July, edie reported that hotel group Malmaison and Hotel du Vin establish a deal with retailer Anglian Water Business. And a month earlier, edie’s sister title Utility Week reported that Business Stream had agreed a deal to supply three of House of Fraser’s flagship stores in England.

Alex Baldwin

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