Northumbrian and Anglian team up for water retail market

With just over a week to go until the non-household water retail market opens, Anglian Water Business (AWB) and NWG Business have teamed up to create a new retailer of water and wastewater services in England and Scotland.

The new business will be called Wave, and it intends to become a multi-utility retailer, providing gas and electricity services in addition to the water and wastewater services initially on offer.

The deal – a 50/50 joint venture – has been struck in advance of changes that allow businesses, charities and public sector organisations to choose their water retailer from the beginning of April this year.

edie explains: water retail competition

The joint venture creates a business which will have more than a quarter of a million customers and a combined turnover of more than £500m.

NWG Business and Anglian Water Business will enter the new market in April as separate entities, combining to form the new business, Wave, following regulatory clearance.

The joint venture is subject to clearance from the competition authorities.

Northumbrian Water Group chief executive Heidi Mottram said: “The opening of the market enabling non-household customers to choose their supplier is a significant moment for the industry. We’re very excited at the prospect of using our combined strengths to bring a new offering to customers who are able to make a choice for the first time. We have every confidence that this joint venture will create a very compelling offer for non-household customers, both present and future.

“Our investment in customer service and IT capabilities demonstrates our commitment to make sure that the new market succeeds, and that our customers experience genuine benefits as a result.”

Anglian Water Group chief executive Peter Simpson said: “On the eve of the non-household market opening to competition, we’re delighted to be able to announce the creation of Wave, a business which brings together two culturally similar organisations who both have a passion for great customer service. We’ve built up distinct expertise serving our respective regions in recent years, and our complementary experiences will come together to offer customers a very competitive service offering.

“Anglian Water Business’ customer proposition goes far beyond competitive pricing. It’s all about delivering real value to customers, with a team of experts and innovative services constantly targeting reductions that are better for both the customers’ bottom line and the environment.”

AWB was the first English company to be granted a retail licence to operate in the already competitive Scottish market.

NWG Business had originally planned to rebrand to Wave, but said in January that it had halted those plans so as to be “more identifiable to customers” when the market opens.

This is the second joint venture of its kind, after Severn Trent and United Utilities joined forces last year to create Water Plus.

Lois Vallely

This article first appeared on edie’s sister publication, Utility Week

The Water & Energy Marketplace at edie Live 2017

edie Live, taking place on 23-24 May, is creating a dedicated space – the Water & Energy Marketplace – for the UK’s leading retailers and brokers to provide specialist procurement advice to energy, water and sustainability managers in one-to-one consultations.

Find out more about edie Live and Utility Week Live, and get your free two-day pass here.

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie