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Water deregulation: Enabling small businesses taking control of utilities

Jon Ferris, strategy director at Utilitywise, outlines how water deregulation could be of benefit to small business owners:

“The opening of the English water market will impact a staggering 1.2 million businesses in England allowing them to take control by shopping around for the best water deal.

“In short, water deregulation gives small business owners the opportunity to take control of their water supply by enabling them to shop for the best water deals – in a similar way to choosing an energy provider.

“The freedom to choose supplier brings not just greater choice but will also deliver higher customer standards, more tailored services and, most importantly, lower prices.

“This can be a win-win for small business owners. The benefits of water deregulation have already been seen in Scotland, which was deregulation in 2008.

“But, to benefit fully, small businesses need to look at bundling their gas, electricity and water together.

“By bundling all utilities, small business owners can make cost savings of up to 25% and there are some attractive cash-back deals from Utilitywise that can add up to £400 of additional savings.

“A triple utility deal gives companies greater clout in negotiating combined gas, electricity and water savings. Utilitywise have seen savings of up to 14 per cent on their water bill alone after deregulation, but this is just the start.

“Water deregulation is a good thing.  As ever, the greatest barrier to benefitting from deregulation is public inertia.  That’s why small business owners should be encouraged to realise the opportunities that deregulation will bring, and start to take more control over utilities and pocket welcome savings.”

James Bryce, head of the energy team and partner of Square One Law Corporate and Commercial team, commented:  “Amongst our client base across a range of sectors, but in particular our clients in the manufacturing and process industry supply chain, we see opportunities for businesses to review and take control of their water supply. As has been noted, there is a process of educating the market and allowing the water market to mature, which it is hoped will create efficiencies due to demand. This is a precursor to allowing households to similarly shop around for a cheaper water suppliers.”

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