Tom Melhuish 10 min read

Ultimate guide to English water suppliers

Business water suppliers are companies that have a licence to provide water and sewerage services to non-household properties. There are currently 39 companies that hold an Ofwat licence to supply water in England.

Across the market, there is a wide variety of water companies to choose from, each with their own unique selling points, tariffs and price ranges.

Our guide takes a look at England’s largest water suppliers and smaller ones with their own unique selling points.

But first, let’s cover some common questions regarding business water suppliers:

List of business water suppliers in England:

Business Stream

About:

Business Stream has 14+ years in the water market and has been supplying water and wastewater services to UK customers in various sectors since 2006.

Business Stream has been operating in the competitive water market for the longest as the original business water supplier for the Scottish water market that deregulated before the English market.

Upon deregulation of the English market Business Stream was allocated the supply of non-household customers from Southern Water.

Business Stream is ranked third in the 2021 Market and Operations Performance Standards ranking by MOSL, the market operator. The high ranking is for strong performance overall market processes that impact non-household customer experience.

Business Stream has recently launched their ‘Making a Positive Difference’ vision as a way to do the right thing for their people, customers, environment and the community.

Where:

Scotland and Southern England including Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Current licences:

Licence held to supply non-households in England and Scotland for both water and sewerage services.

Additional services:

  • Water network connection
  • Water efficiency services
  • Water-saving devices
  • Consolidated billing

Market share and recent activity:

Business Stream

Links:

Website: www.business-stream.co.uk
New customer sign-up: www.business-stream.co.uk/switch-water-supplier
Customer Services: 0330 123 2000
Trustpilot: uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.business-stream.co.uk

Castle Water Logo

About:

Castle water was founded in 2014 in anticipation of the deregulation of the English water market. On 1 April 2017 when the English market was opened up Castle Water was appointed as the business supplier for Thames Water and Portsmouth Water customers.

Castle further extended its already large base of non-household customers through the acquisitions of Cobolt Water in Scotland, Invicta Water in the South East and a merger with Affinity for Business from the East of England.

Castle Water is now one of the UK’s largest water suppliers. Unlike most water suppliers on this list, Castle Water is not associated with any of the UK’s traditional water network owners.

Where:

Portsmouth, the Thames Basin, East of England, South East of England.

Current licences:

Licence held to supply non-households in England, Scotland and Wales for both water and sewerage services.

Additional services:

  • Consolidated billing
  • Water efficiency services
  • Water network connection
  • Smart Meters

Market share and recent activity:

Homepage: www.castlewater.co.uk
New customer sign-up: www.castlewater.co.uk/services/business-water/switch
Customer services: 01250 718700
Trustpilot: uk.trustpilot.com/review/castlewater.co.uk

Clear Business Water

About:

Clear Business Water is a water retailer in England and Scotland. It is the leading independent water provider in Scotland and has recently moved into England’s water market.

Clear Business has not been allocated any customers from the pre-deregulation local monopolies, it has a small but fast-growing customer base.

Clear Business is a small business specialist focussing not just on water but on other utilities and services such as Energy, Internet, Telecoms and Insurance.

Where:

England and Scotland.

Current licences:

Licence held to supply non-households in England and Scotland for both water and sewerage services.

Additional services:

  • Consolidated Billing
  • Smart Meters

Market share and recent activity:

Clear Business

Links:

Website: www.clearbusiness.co.uk
New customer sign-up:
www.clearbusiness.co.uk/switch-and-save
Customer Services:
0333 014 3131 – Service@ClearBusiness.co.uk
Trustpilot:
uk.trustpilot.com/review/clearbusiness.co.uk

Everflow

About:

Everflow was founded in 2014 with the idea of creating an ethical water retailer with low-cost pricing. In 2015 Everflow opened its first office in Hartlepool in the North East of England.

On deregulation of the English water market Everflow has consistently led the way in obtaining new customers.

In 2021 Everflow came in third place on the Financial Times Europes fastest Growing Companies reporting and has strong growth aspirations for the future.

Everflow is ranked third in the 2021 Market and Operations Performance Standards ranking by MOSL, the market operator. The high ranking is for strong performance overall market processes that impact non-household customer experience.

Everflow is committed to charitable giving, and for every 250 new customers signed up, Everflow has pledged to build a well in countries that don’t have access to clean and safe drinking water.

Where:

Unusually, Everflow has not acquired customers through appointment on deregulation to a specific region. Instead, Everflow has acquired new customers from across the country.

Current licences:

Licence held to supply non-households in England, Scotland and Wales for both water and sewerage services.

Additional services:

  • Consolidated billing

Market share and recent activity:

Everflow

Links:

Website: www.everflowwater.com
New customer sign-up: www.everflowwater.com/switch-now
Customer services: 0330 6600 137
Trustpilot: uk.trustpilot.com/review/everflowwater.com

First Business Water

About:

Founded in 2017, First Business Water prides itself as an innovative water retailer. They offer a focused, proactive stance to managing your water usage.

First Business Water has developed WaterDeck, an online platform that gathers water consumption data from business premises. WaterDeck is a useful analytical tool allowing businesses to understand consumption and measure the impact of water-saving initiatives.

Where:

England.

Current licences:

Licence held to supply non-households in England for both water and sewerage services.

Additional services:

  • Consolidated billing
  • Water efficiency services

Market share and recent activity:

First Business Water

Links:

Website: www.firstbusinesswater.co.uk
New customer sign-up: www.firstbusinesswater.co.uk/contact-us/quote-request
Customer Services: 0800 849 1342 – contactus@firstbusinesswater.co.uk

SES Business Water

About:

SES business water, or more formally Sutton and East Surrey Water, was created on the deregulation of the English water market in 2017.

It is an associated retailer of SES water which supplies households in the Sutton and East Surrey area. All businesses and other non-households in the area were switched to be supplied by SES business water.

Where:

East Surrey, West Sussex, West Kent and South London

Current licences:

Licence held to supply non-households in England, Scotland and Wales for both water and sewerage services.

Additional services:

  • Consolidated billing
  • Smart Meters

Market share and recent activity:

Links:

Homepage: https://www.sesbusinesswater.co.uk/
New customer sign-up: https://www.sesbusinesswater.co.uk/get-quote
Customer services: 0203 750 9300
Trust Pilot Review: https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.ses.co.uk

Source for business

About:

Source for Business is a newly created national brand consisting of a consolidation of the Bournemouth Business Water, Cambridge Water Business, South Staffs Water Business and South West Water Business brands. These previously separate companies are all part of the Pennon Group, a FTSE listed public company.

Source for Business supplies of 160,000 businesses nationally but has a significant presence in the UK household market with 25 years of experience within the regulated water industry.

Where:

Bournemouth, Cambridge, South Staffordshire, South West

Current licences:

Licence held to supply non-households in England, Scotland and Wales for both water and sewerage services.

Additional services:

  • Consolidated billing
  • Water efficiency services

Market share and recent activity:

Source for business

Links:

Homepage: www.source4b.co.uk/
New customer sign-up: www.source4b.co.uk/switch
Customer services: 0800 042 0347
Trustpilot: uk.trustpilot.com/review/source4b.co.uk

Water Plus

 

About:

Water Plus is a joint venture between United Utilities and Severn Trent. The two companies joined forces in 2016 in preparation for the water market deregulation in 2017 in England.

Water Plus supplies water to 350,000 customers across all sectors, from multi-sites to SMEs and micro-businesses.

Water Plus has a major partnership with Trees for Cities and has plans to plant over 90 trees in urban areas. The initiative is part of Water Plus’s commitment to taking positive action to help the environment

Where:

Midlands and the South-west

Current licences:

Licence held to supply non-households in England and Scotland for both water and sewerage services.

Additional services:

  • Smart Meters
  • Water connection services
  • Consolidated billing
  • Water efficiency services

Market share and recent activity:

Water Plus

Links:

Website: www.water-plus.co.uk
New customer sign-up: www.water-plus.co.uk/get-a-quote
Customer Services: 0345 072 6072 – service@water-plus.co.uk
Trustpilot: uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.water-plus.co.uk

Water2Business

 

About:

Water2Business is a Joint venture created by Bristol Water and Wessex Water in 2000.

Water2Business has been named the highest performing retailer by the market operator (Market Operator Services Ltd) in their 2020-21 Market Performance Standards report.

The award is for strong performance overall market processes that impact non-household customer experience.

Where:

Bristol, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire

Current licences:

Licence held to supply non-households in England and Scotland for both water and sewerage services.

Additional services:

  • Consolidated billing
  • Smart Meters

Market share and recent activity:

Links:

Website: www.water2business.co.uk
New customer sign-up: www.water2business.co.uk/switch-to-us
Customer Services: 0345 600 2600 – hello@water2business.co.uk
Trustpilot: Uk.trustpilot.com/review/water2business.co.uk

Wave

 

About:

Wave is a national business water supplier that was formed through the consolidation of two regional suppliers, Anglian Water Business and Northumbrian Water Group.

Wave has significant experience in the open water market with its roots tracing back to the deregulation of the Scottish market in 2008.

Where:

Northumbria, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

Current licences:

Licence held to supply non-households in England, Scotland and Wales for both water and sewerage services.

Additional services:

  • Consolidated billing
  • Water efficiency service

Market share and recent activity:

Wave

Links:

Homepage: www.wave-utilities.co.uk
New customer sign-up: www.wave-utilities.co.uk/switch-us
Customer services: 0333 207 9283
Trustpilot: uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.wave-utilities.co.uk


A map of the top water suppliers in England

Can businesses change water supplier?

Since 2017 business and other non-household premises are free to change water suppliers. This guide provides a comprehensive list of English water suppliers. Each of the water suppliers on this list holds a licence to supply water and wastewater services to any English business.

How can I change business water supplier?

The onboarding process for each business water supplier is different. Where available, we have provided the relevant links to request a water quote from each supplier.

Alternatively, AquaSwitch can do the work on your behalf by collecting tailored quotes from across the market. AquaSwitch can quickly give you a view of available alternatives for your business.

If you decide to change supplier, AquaSwitch will arrange a hassle-free switch on your behalf. For more information, see our free comparison and switch service.

How do I find out who my business water supplier is?

The easiest way to find your current business water supplier is to check who sends you business water bills.

If your business has recently moved into a new property or you’ve never received a bill, then AquaSwitch or any water supplier on this list can help.

All business water supply points are recorded on a centralised database that records who supplies each business water meter at each non-household address.  All the suppliers on this list and AquaSwitch have access to this database.

What do water suppliers do?

The jargon in the water industry makes it challenging to understand what water suppliers actually do. Water suppliers, retailers, providers, these are all mean the same thing.

In short, water suppliers provide billing and customer services to businesses, organisations and other non-households. A water supplier will arrange regular meter readings to produce accurate water bills for your business.

Water suppliers are not responsible for maintaining the water network; this is the role of the wholesaler. If any physical supply issues arise for your business, your water supplier will contact the wholesaler on your behalf to arrange for it to be fixed.

Can my small business change water supplier?

Yes, the suppliers in this guide have a licence from Ofwat to supply any non-household in England, both large and small.

The only requirement for a small business to be able to choose a business water supplier is to have been allocated a supply point ID (“SPID”).

All water bills your business receives will display your SPID.

Self-supply businesses

Deregulation of the English water market introduced the option to self-supply. Large businesses can apply from Ofwat for a licence to purchase water directly from wholesalers and take on the supplier’s role for themselves.

The self-supply regime adds some obligations such as paying for water two months in advance and regularly recording meter readings but saves the business from paying a supplier the retail fee.

Economically self-supply can make sense for larger firms. In March 2020, 12 companies held a self-supply licence, including John Lewis and Kelloggs.

Smaller water suppliers

This guide has provided information on all major water suppliers based upon Ofwat’s latest state of the market publication.

We have excluded from this guide a handful of suppliers that make up less than 0.1% of the market. For a full table of business water suppliers please refer to Ofwat’s latest state of the market publication.

How to compare and switch water suppliers

If you’ve never changed supplier before, you’ll probably find it’s a lot easier than you expect to switch water supplier, just grab a recent water bill and enter your postcode and SPID in our compare and switch form.

Our free comparison service will collect tailored water quotes for your business from across the open water market.

If you decide that a different supplier can provide a better service and tariff to your business then AquaSwitch can handle your switch. It’s completely free.

And remember, switching supplier doesn’t involve any physical work at your property, or new pipework being installed – your water will be still be supplied through the existing pipes.

The difference is you will be billed by the new supplier benefiting from cheaper water rates and improved customer service.

Disclaimer

All data in this guide has been collated from public sources during July 2021. In the list of English water suppliers, we have linked to each suppliers website.

Additionally, we have used the following sources:

 

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