Open for business: England launches world’s largest water retail market

The water retail market for England's non-domestic water customers is now officially open for business, with company's across the country able to grasp a portion of an expected £200m economic boost that the opening is expected to bring.

With water retail competition opening on 1 April, non-domestic water users now have the option to switch suppliers of water retail services.

Structured to follow the success of a similar market opening in Scotland in 2008, the competition will encourage new companies and innovation to move within sector to create greater efficiency, services and cost reductions.


Defra, which is working with market regulator Ofwat to oversee the delivery of water retail competition in England, expects the new system to generate around £200m in benefits for the UK economy.

But whether those economic benefits will be fully realised remains to be seen. A recent survey carried out by Ofwat revealed that two-thirds of organisations remain unaware of imminent changes to the water market.

With this in mind, edie has gone to great lengths to explain the changes, and the benefits and implications that these will bring. The edie explains: Water retail competition guide, produced in partnership with edie’s sister title Utility Week, provides an in-depth summary of the government-led strategy which will allow all non-domestic water users to switch suppliers of water retail services.

The 10-page edie explains guide answers all the questions and more to help those that manage their organisation’s water consumption understand how water retail competition could be used to consolidate bills, generate significant financial savings and deliver key environmental benefits.

The opening of competition is already shaking-up how the traditional water suppliers and service providers are interacting with the market. For example, Anglian Water Business (AWB) and NWG Business have teamed up to create a new retailer of water and wastewater services in England and Scotland, marking the latest in a line of water retail business mergers. 

Water market brokers are also anticipating a boom in business. edie sister title Utility Week has provided an in-depth guide to the utility broker market as it stands, and considers how it is likely to change after market opening. Read that guide here

To coincide with the market opening, edie’s publisher Faversham House has launched a brand new publication – Water.Retail – under the auspices of Utility Week. This new fortnightly, high-value, newsletter-style publication will connect brokers to wholesalers, retailers and customers, and provide water retail professionals with high-value business intelligence and market insights. Sign up to Water.Retail now and get a free trial subscription.

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.

Matt Mace

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