New energy and water retail service offers businesses 'one-stop-shop' for utilities
UK organisations will soon be able to manage their electricity, gas and water use in one place thanks to a pioneering new partnership between non-domestic water supplier Business Stream and energy consultancy Utilitywise.
The partnership, announced today (13 December), will offer a ‘one-stop-shop’ for businesses to secure deals for their energy and water consumption all in a single place, and provide access to bespoke online tools which will allow them to have full control of their utilities spend.
The all-in-one utility service will initially be available to all organisations in Scotland, before being introduced to companies in England when the water retail market opens for competition in April 2017.
Business Stream – which will manage the water services – and Utilitywise – which will oversee energy provision – are hoping to engage small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) with the new offering, as they may not have dedicated procurement teams or the weight of a large company to agree preferential rates with energy suppliers.
“This is an innovative, triple-utility offer designed to appeal to SME customers, enabling them to save time, money and effort," said Business Stream chief executive Jo Dow.
“This new partnership makes it easier for customers to buy all their essential utilities in one place and to manage their accounts online at a time and place which suits them. Following our acquisition of the Southern Water customer base, this is further evidence of our intention to shake up the water market and offer new and innovative solutions to business customers across the UK.”
Utilitywise chief executive Brenden Flattery added: “We are delighted to be partnering Business Stream to provide a one-stop utility solution to their customers across Scotland. With over 30,000 customers across the UK, Utilitywise brings significant expertise in helping businesses to get better value from their utility suppliers.
“This partnership will provide Business Stream customers with access to competitive energy prices as well as cutting edge technologies and services to help them reduce utility consumption and save even more money on their electricity, gas and water bills.”
Water retail competition
The as-yet-unnamed retail package will allow businesses to save time by having to just make one call to manage all of their utility purchasing. Online account management will then allow organisations to view and manage their energy and water usage 24/7. Exclusive discounts will also be made available to any organisations that switch their utility retail services over to this new provider.
The introduction of a one-stop utility offer comes as the water industry prepares for retail competition to be introduced for non-domestic water customers in England in April next year. The Government-led water retail competition strategy will effectively allow businesses to switch suppliers of water retail services; opening the water and wastewater (sewerage) retail market to new water companies and encouraging greater innovation within the water sector.
Since non-domestic water retail competition was introduced to Scotland in 2008, the country’s incumbent retailer Business Stream has saved businesses and public-sector organisations more than £160m and helped them conserve more than 24 billion litres of water. These benefits include £53m in water efficiency savings, £99m in discounts and £7m in energy efficiency savings.