The figures were published today (7 April) by Market Operator Services Limited (MOSL), which operates the market and ensures it runs efficiently and effectively on behalf of the water companies trading in it.

As well as those which have chosen to switch water retailer, many customers – from multi-nationals to micro-businesses, and charities to local authorities – have contacted their existing water retailer to discuss the services they receive or negotiate a better deal, the market operator said.

Competition was introduced following the Water Act 2014, in the hope of driving future efficiencies in the sector, improving services such as water efficiency measures and reducing customers’ bills.

The programme is thought to be the largest transformational change to the sector since its privatisation in 1989 and has created the largest competitive water market in the world. In the newly competitive market, there are 20 water retailers competing for business.

Ofwat chief executive Cathryn Ross said: “This is a really encouraging start – less than a week in and already we are seeing thousands of customers diving into the new water market. From multi-nationals to micro-businesses – customers are finding the deals that are right for them and they have the confidence to enter the market knowing there is strong oversight and effective protections in place.”

Lois Vallely

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

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