When the water market in England opens next April, non-domestic customers will begin to reap the price and service benefits of a competitive marketplace. However, some of England’s businesses will be set to gain more from the changes than others. Here we take a look at how deregulation could mean big savings for multi-site businesses, and why it will pay for those affected to be ready for the shift to an open market well in advance of April 2017.
Post-deregulation, all non-domestic customers are sure to feel the benefits of the efforts water companies will make in order to win and retain their business. However, those with multiple sites across England, or perhaps across both England and Scotland, will feel one further benefit: the ability to consolidate their water accounts. Whilst your business’ water supply will still originate from the same source, dependent upon your location, post deregulation rules will allow you to allocate the handling of your accounts to one water ‘retailer’. What this will effectively mean is that you could reduce the current burden of managing your water accounts down to one point of contact and one bill, however many sites your business runs.
The additional benefit of consolidation is that you instantly increase the value of your business to any given water service provider. Whilst discounts on bills are initially not expected to rise above 5%, the example set by deregulated Scotland so far would suggest that this may increase significantly over time, and that savvy businesses will be able to demand higher discounts and better service packages from their chosen provider once competition ramps up. See our infographic on Deregulation in Numbers.
The more appealing you are as a potential customer, the more likely it is that water companies will want to compete for your business. Multi-site businesses have a potential advantage simply because of the amount of business they can offer to a water provider. However, to be in the perfect position to secure a contract on desirable terms, your accounts should also be ship shape and ready to go. Multi-site businesses should ideally conduct a full audit of all water accounts well in advance of deregulation – to identify leaks, resolve past billing queries, and be set to move forward with a clean bill of health. For many, this will mean engaging with the process now and perhaps also embarking on water efficiency programmes as one of the first essential steps towards clearing the board and getting your business ready to make the most of the opportunities that 2017 is expected to bring.
If you would like to find out more about how to obtain a free water audit for your business, or need help with any aspect of your water account, please get in touch today.