Request a callback
  • Our experts process over 93,000 invoices per month and we've recovered over £11m in over-charges for our clients in the last year
  • We provide support to over 500 businesses for energy and carbon management
  • Our solutions team have identified savings of £37.5m per annum for our clients, a total of 495,338,992 kWh savings identified
  • Last year we saved our CCA clients alone £25.5m

Countdown To Open Water

From April 1st 2017 1.2 million businesses will become eligible to choose who supplies their water and wastewater retail services. Until now, only businesses using more than 50 million litres of water a year have been able to shop around for the water contract best suited to their needs. Other non-domestic customers – including large businesses falling just short of the 5Ml threshold – have been restricted to receiving a water supply and associated services from their regional water company. Once the market opens this April, this will no longer be the case; England’s businesses, charities and public sector organisations will have the power to choose from a still growing range of water retailers, all keen to attract their custom.

Here, we look at the three main benefits for businesses who take the plunge into Open Water and seize this new opportunity to switch their service supplier this April:

1. Consolidated bills – because time is money

For multi-site businesses, Open Water could provide a significant time and money saving opportunity. One supplier and one bill will mean less admin and processing time, adding a cost-saving on resources to any savings made through discounted rates on water and wastewater services. Businesses with sites in both England and Scotland will also be able to bring all sites together under one service provider, and the added bargaining power of doing so will also help to ensure that the most beneficial contract can be secured for their organisation.

2. The added value services you need

Water retailers will be keen to make a splash in the new competitive marketplace. The wholesale services they buy will therefore be carefully packaged for resale with a range of different added-value benefits designed to appeal to their target audience. Open Water will give non-domestic customers the power to choose a retailer who provides them with the services they want and need. For some that might simply be online billing, for others it may be leak detection services, smart metering, and recycling or water efficiency programmes. The offering from retailers is likely to expand over the coming months and years as more businesses engage with the changes. If successful, competition is expected to drive service levels up and encourage innovation across the industry – a long term benefit for all users that goes beyond discounted prices and potentially helps to secure a cost-efficient and sustainable infrastructure for the future.

3. Savings that really add up

Whilst initial discounts on water bills aren’t expected to rise above 2-5% when the market first opens, for larger users this will already mean a significant saving on the cost of water for their business. As with retailer innovation and the quality of service packages, the level of discount available will largely be driven by engagement from business customers and is likely to rise over time. The message to businesses is: get involved. A competitive marketplace is in your best interests and will only succeed if uptake is good. Many larger businesses and particularly those in the public sector will have savings targets to meet and will soon be able to look to their water services for some of those savings. Once price discounts are combined with the cost-savings achievable through bill-consolidation and added to the opportunity to tackle water efficiency issues with help from your service provider, the savings could really start to add up.

Need help or advice? There is still time to act to benefit from day one of Open Water. Get in touch today to speak to one of Inenco’s water procurement experts. Call us on 08451 46 36 26 or email