Business Water Suppliers

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Business water suppliers

Business water suppliers provide water and sewerage services to 1.5 million properties across England and Scotland. A business water supplier will read your water meter twice a year and bill your company for its water supply.

There are currently over 20 business water suppliers, competing to provide the best service at the lowest possible price. This guide aims to help you navigate the confusing world of business water suppliers.

Here are some quick links to get you started:

What do business water suppliers do?
Who is my business water supplier?
An up-to-date list of business water suppliers
Find out more about the biggest business water suppliers

Business Water Suppliers 2024

The following table shows a list of licenced business water suppliers in Britain with the services they provide.

Click here if you’re looking for Scottish business water suppliers.

Business water supplier nameBusiness water supplier brandWater supplier servicesEnglish supply licenceScottish supply licence
Advanced Demand Side Management LimitedADSMWater management servicesYesYes
Anglian Water Business (National) LimitedWaveGeneral business water supplierYesYes
Blue Business Water LimitedBluewaterGeneral business water supplierNoYes
Brightwater LimitedBrightwaterGeneral business water supplierNoYes
Cambrian Utilities LimitedCambrian UtilitiesNot accepting new customersYesNo
Castle Water LimitedCastle WaterGeneral business water supplierYesYes
Clear Business Water LimitedClear BusinessGeneral business water supplierYesYes
ConservAqua LimitedConservAquaGeneral business water supplierYesNo
Commercial Water Solutions LimitedCommercial Water SolutionsGeneral business water supplierNoYes
Everflow LimitedEverflowGeneral business water supplierYesYes
First Business WaterFirst Business WaterGeneral business water supplierYesNo
Olympos Water LimitedOlympus WaterWater connection services onlyYesNo
Pennon Water Services LimitedSource4BusinessGeneral business water supplierYesYes
Pinnacle Business Water LimitedPinnacle Business WaterGeneral business water supplierYesYes
Pure (CGV) LimitedPure UtilitiesGeneral business water supplierNoYes
Scottish Water Business Stream LimitedBusiness StreamGeneral business water supplierYesYes
Smarta WaterSmartaGeneral business water supplierYesYes
Sutton and East Surrey Water Services LimitedSES WaterGeneral business water supplierYesYes
Veolia Water Retail (UK) LimitedVeoliaWater management servicesYesYes
The Water Retail Company LimitedThe Water Retail CompanyGeneral business water supplierYesNo
Water Plus LimitedWater PlusGeneral business water supplierYesYes
Water 2 Business LimitedWater2BusinessGeneral business water supplierYesYes
Waterscan LimitedWaterscanWater management servicesYesYes
Yu Water LimitedYuGeneral business water supplierYesNo

The ultimate guide to business water suppliers

Discover comprehensive information about the top business water suppliers in the UK. Use the links below to navigate directly to the supplier of your choice.

<h3 id="Business-Stream">Business Stream</h3>

Business Stream

About
Business Stream is the oldest business water supplier in the market; Business Stream was designated as Scotland’s default business water supplier following the deregulation of the Scottish Water market in 2008.

In 2017, Business Stream was assigned to supply non-household customers previously served by Southern Water when the English water market was deregulated.

Additional Services
Water network connection
Water efficiency services
Water-saving devices
Consolidated billing

Website:
www.business-stream.co.uk
Customer service: customerenquiries@business-stream.co.uk
Trustpilot reviews: www.trustpilot.com

<h3 id="Castle-Water">Castle Water</h3>

Castle Water

About
Castle Water was established in 2014 in anticipation of the deregulation of the English water market. When the English market was officially opened on the 1st of April 2017, Castle Water was appointed as the water supplier for businesses in the Thames Water and Portsmouth Water regions.

Castle Water continued expanding its substantial non-household customer base through strategic acquisitions. These acquisitions included Cobolt Water in Scotland, Invicta Water in the South East, and a merger with Affinity for Business.

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

Website:
www.castlewater.co.uk
Customer services: 01250 718700
Trustpilot reviews: www.trustpilot.com

<h3 id="Clear-business-water">Clear Business</h3>

Clear Business

About
Clear Business Water is a water retailer serving customers in both England and Scotland. It is the top independent water provider in Scotland and has expanded its operations into England’s water market.

Unlike some other providers, Clear Business has not been assigned any customers that existed before deregulation.

Clear Business specialises in catering to small businesses and is a provider of a range of utility products beyond water, including as a business energy supplier.

Additional services
Consolidated Billing
Smart Meters

Website:
www.clearbusiness.co.uk
Customer services:
0333 014 3131 – Service@ClearBusiness.co.uk
Trustpilot reviews: www.trustpilot.com

<h3 id="ConservAqua">ConservAqua</h3>

ConservAqua

About
In January 2020, ConservAqua applied for a water and sewerage supply licence, entering the open water market with a commitment to delivering excellent customer service, precise billing, and a wealth of expertise to offer customers additional water-related services.

ConservAqua is a dedicated commercial water supplier with a strong environmental focus. Recognising the substantial challenge of water scarcity in the UK, ConservAqua actively strives to mitigate this issue by providing innovative solutions, including smart water meters, greywater systems, and rainwater harvesting, all aimed at reducing water consumption.

Additional services
Water efficiency services
Smart Meters
Off-grid supply advice

Website: https://conservaqua.co.uk/
Customer services: 0333 016 56 56
Trustpilot reviews: www.trustpilot.com

<h3 id="Everflow">Everflow</h3>

Everflow

About
Founded in 2014, Everflow had a clear mission to establish an ethical water retailer known for its competitive pricing. By 2015, it had set up its first office in Hartlepool, North East England.

Everflow proudly became the first business water supplier to offer all its customers a carbon-neutral water and wastewater service, offsetting carbon emissions through certified credits in the competitive English water market.

Everflow consistently excelled in customer acquisition and even secured second position in MOSL’s 2022 Market and Operations Performance Standards ranking. In 2023, it was rebranded as Everflow Utilities, expanding its services to encompass environmentally friendly waste management solutions.

Additional services
Consolidated billing
Waste management solutions

Website: www.everflowutilities.com
Customer services: customer.services@everflowutilities.com
Trustpilot reviews: www.trustpilot.com

<h3 id="First-business-water">First Business Water</h3>

First Business Water

About
Established in 2017, First Business Water is a forward-thinking water retailer known for its innovative approach to water management registered in England only. Their emphasis lies in proactively managing water usage for businesses.

One of their notable developments is WaterDeck, an online platform designed to collate water consumption data from commercial properties. This analytical tool serves as a valuable resource, enabling businesses to gain insights into their water usage patterns and evaluate the effectiveness of their water-saving strategies.

Additional services
Consolidated billing
Water efficiency services

Website: www.firstbusinesswater.co.uk
Customer Services: contactus@firstbusinesswater.co.uk
Telephone: 0800 849 1342

<h3 id="Pure">Pure Utilities</h3>

Pure Utilities

About
Pure Utilities, established in April 2015, secured a licence to serve Scottish businesses on July 16, 2016. The company’s primary objective revolves around delivering exceptional customer service alongside competitive pricing.

Located in Preston, Pure Utilities is dedicated to assisting businesses in reducing unnecessary water consumption. To facilitate this, they offer a complimentary Water Efficiency self-assessment tool on their website. This resource empowers business owners to identify opportunities for enhancing water efficiency within their operations.

Additional services
Water efficiency services
Water-saving devices
Smart Meters

Website: www.pureutilities.co.uk
Customer services: 0330 113 3050
Trustpilot reviews: www.trustpilot.com

<h3 id="SES-Business-Water">SES Business Water</h3>

SES Business Water

About
SES Business Water, also known as Sutton and East Surrey Water, emerged following the deregulation of the English water market in 2017.

Operating as an affiliated retailer of SES Water, which serves residential properties in the Sutton and East Surrey region, SES Business Water took on the responsibility of supplying water to all businesses and other non-household properties in the South London area.

Additional services
Consolidated billing
Smart Meters

Website: www.sesbusinesswater.co.uk
Customer services: 0203 750 9300
Trustpilot reviews: www.trustpilot.com

 

<h3 id="Source-for-business">Source for Business</h3>

Source for Business

About
Source for Business, a newly established national brand, is a consolidation of Bournemouth Business Water, Cambridge Water Business, South Staffs Water Business, and South West Water Business under the Pennon Group, an FTSE-listed company.

Serving 160,000 businesses nationwide, it also boasts 25 years of experience in the regulated water industry and provides various value-added services. These include risk assessment, smart water meter installation, leak detection and repair, and wastewater treatment, enhancing efficiency and sustainability for customers in both commercial and residential sectors.

Additional services
Consolidated billing
Water efficiency services

Website: www.source4b.co.uk
Customer services: 0800 042 0347
Trustpilot reviews: www.trustpilot.com

<h3 id="Water-plus">Water Plus</h3>

Water Plus

About
Water Plus, established as a joint venture between United Utilities and Severn Trent in 2016, positioned itself ahead of the 2017 water market deregulation in England. The collaboration aimed to provide a comprehensive water supply solution for customers of all sizes, catering to multi-sites, SMEs, and micro-businesses, totalling 350,000 customers.

Water Plus also places a strong emphasis on environmental responsibility, exemplified by its significant partnership with Trees for Cities. As part of their commitment to environmental conservation, the company has ambitious plans to plant more than 90 trees in urban areas.

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

Website: www.water-plus.co.uk
Customer services: 0345 072 6072 – service@water-plus.co.uk
Trustpilot reviews: www.trustpilot.com

<h3 id="water-2-business">Water 2 Business</h3>

Water 2 Business

About
Water2Business, a joint venture formed by Bristol Water and Wessex Water in 2000, serves 80,000 customers across the UK.

Notably, it has achieved the distinction of being the top-performing business water supplier, securing the MOSL Market Performance Standards Report award for five consecutive years.
Additionally, Water2Business received recognition for its exceptional performance in managing customer complaints, as highlighted in the 2020/21 Consumer Council for Water’s report on commercial water suppliers.

Additional services
Consolidated billing
Smart Meters

Website: www.water2business.co.uk
Customer services: 0345 600 2600 – hello@water2business.co.uk
Trustpilot reviews: www.trustpilot.com

<h3 id="Wave">Wave</h3>

Wave

About
Wave, a national business water supplier, emerged through the merger of two regional suppliers, Anglian Water Business and Northumbrian Water Group. With its origins dating back to the deregulation of the Scottish market in 2008, Wave boasts substantial experience in the open water sector.

Wave, as a prominent national business water supplier, has leveraged its extensive experience in the open water market to become a trusted partner for businesses across the UK. With a strong commitment to customer service and a deep understanding of the evolving water industry, Wave continues to offer tailored solutions and innovative services to meet the diverse needs of its clients.

Additional services
Consolidated billing
Water efficiency service

Website: www.wave-utilities.co.uk
Customer services: 0333 207 9283
Trustpilot reviews: www.trustpilot.com

Business water suppliers near me

Here’s where the biggest business water suppliers are based:

  • Business Stream – Edinburgh
  • Castle Water – Dundee
  • Clear Business – Manchester
  • ConservAqua – London
  • Everflow – Middlesbrough
  • First Business Water – London
  • Pure Utilities – Preston
  • SES Business Water – Dorking
  • Source for Business – Bournemouth
  • Water Plus – Stoke-On-Trent
  • Water2Business – Bristol
  • Wave – Durham

It is important to remember that business water suppliers have a licence to provide water services anywhere in the country. That’s why you can use our business water comparison service to compare commercial water suppliers from across the market.

If you have a property in Wales, it’s a bit more complicated. Here’s our guide to business water suppliers in Wales.

Biggest business water suppliers

In terms of the number of properties they supply, the biggest business water suppliers are as follows.

  1. Water Plus: 713,000 supply points – Inherited all businesses in the Midlands and the South West on deregulation.
  2. Castle Water: 494,000 supply points – Inherited all businesses in the Thames Basin, East and South East of England on deregulation.
  3. Wave: 394,000 supply points – Inherited businesses in Northumbria, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire on deregulation.
  4. Business Stream: 393,000 supply points – Inherited all businesses in Scotland and the South of England on deregulation.

The above rankings were extracted from the MOSL Supply Points Dashboard on 25 October 2023.

Small business water suppliers

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

We have excluded a handful of suppliers from this guide 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.

Newest business water suppliers

The newest British business water supplier is Intelligent Business Water which obtained a Scottish water and wastewater licence in January 2022.

Intelligent Business Water is taking a unique approach by providing business water services without a contract. Instead, Intelligent Business Water simply publishes its tariff information on its website.

The English water market hasn’t had a new business water supplier for over two years. The most recent addition to the market was ConservAqua.

Scottish business water suppliers

The Scottish business water market was deregulated in 2008 to allow companies to benefit from greater choice, more services and competition among Scottish business water suppliers.

On 1 April 2008, the water supply to all commercial properties in Scotland transferred to Business Stream, the default business water supplier in Scotland.

There are currently 17 Scottish business water suppliers that compete to offer the best service at the cheapest prices.

In Scotland, business water suppliers purchase water and sewerage services from Scottish Water, which operates the water infrastructure. The following water suppliers currently have a licence to supply business water in Scotland:

  • ADSM
  • Bluewater
  • Brightwater
  • Business Stream
  • Castle Water
  • Clear Business
  • Commercial Water Solutions
  • Everflow
  • Intelligent business water
  • Source4Business
  • Pinnacle Business Water
  • Pure Utilities
  • Smarta
  • SES Water
  • Water Plus
  • Water2Business​​
  • Wave

Scottish business water suppliers are regulated by the Water Industry Commission for Scotland.

Self-supply businesses

Deregulation of the English water market introduced the option of 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 means that a company with a licence has similar obligations to the business water suppliers. The self-supply business needs to pay for water two months in advance from the wholesaler and is responsible for recording meter readings at all sites.

The difference between a commercial water supplier and a self-supplier is that the licence restricts the company to only supplying water to properties they own or rent.

Economically self-supply only makes sense for large firms with properties across England and Scotland. In May 2023, the following companies held self-supply licences:

  • Arla Food UK
  • Blackpool Borough Council
  • Boots
  • BT
  • Coca Cola
  • David Lloyd
  • Elis UK
  • Green King
  • Heineken
  • Sainsbury’s
  • John Lewis
  • Kellogg’s
  • Marstons’s
  • Nottingham City Council
  • Sefton Council
  • Stonegate Pub Company
  • Whitbread

Why you should change your business water supplier

There are many different motivations for changing business water supplier. The most common is the financial aspect, where switching business water supply enables businesses to save money annually by moving away from out-of-contract default prices.

Other reasons to switch your business water supply:

  • Secure water resources.
  • Switch to a green water tariff.
  • Better customer service.
  • More reliable water billing.

Can I negotiate with my business water supplier for a better rate?

Yes, if you haven’t agreed to a contract with your current business water supplier, it is possible to negotiate a better rate.

Around 80% of companies in England haven’t contracted with their business water supplier and instead pay default business water rates. Default business water rates are needlessly expensive and can be renegotiated for cheaper fixed rates. Here’s how:

  • Enter your postcode in our comparison tool below.
  • You’ll receive quotes from business water suppliers from across the market.
  • We’ll also include any quotes offered by your current supplier.

With AquaSwitch’s business water comparison service, you can compare your current rates to fixed-term quotes and see how much you can save.

If you decide to accept a quote from your current supplier, you simply need to sign a fixed contract with them, and you’ll start to benefit from cheaper rates immediately.

Business water suppliers that have gone bust

Here’s a list of the business water suppliers that have ceased trading in the last three years:

  • Pinnacle Business Water – November 2022 – All customers allocated to Everflow Water.
  • Affinity for Business – July 2021 – All customers transferred to Castle Water
  • Aimera Water – July 2021 – All customers transferred to Clear Business Water
  • Tor Water – February 2020 – All customers allocated to Smarta Water Limited, SES Business Water, Water2Business, and Yu Water.

Poor-performing business water suppliers going bust is a natural part of a competitive business water market.

However, water supplies are essential services, and it is critical that a supplier failure doesn’t disrupt your water services.

The regulator, Ofwat, ensures that when a supplier goes bust, there is a new business water supplier of last resort that will receive all the customers of the failed supplier.

If your business water supplier goes bust, you do not need to take any action; your services will automatically transfer to another supplier. The regulators guarantee there will be no change to water and wastewater services because of the transfer.

In the case of a business water supplier of last resort transfer, your new supplier must contact you to inform you of your supply transfer. If you’ve recently been transferred, you’ll be supplied under a deemed contract and can switch business water suppliers without incurring any exit fees.

Business water supplier complaints

If you are having a problem with a business water supplier, you should first contact the customer services team of your supplier. The customer services team should be able to resolve any issues that you are experiencing.

If explaining the issue over the phone doesn’t work, commercial water suppliers must have a formal complaints procedure to escalate matters. The complaints procedures of water suppliers are usually published on their website.

A formal complaint will result in a final decision letter issued by your supplier. If you remain unsatisfied with the response of your supplier, then you can request that your complaint be reviewed by the following:

Scottish customers:
Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
https://www.spso.org.uk/complain/form/start/

English customers:
Consumer council for water
https://www.ccwater.org.uk/make-a-complaint/

Business water suppliers in the UK

Here’s our map of the different business water suppliers in the UK.

When reviewing your business water comparison quote, you might want to know where your supplier is based; you can do this using our simple-to-view business water supplier map.

Business water vs household water – what’s the difference?

Businesses and households across the country are connected to the same regional water and sewerage networks. The same local water company, known as a wholesaler, guarantees the continued supply of high-quality potable water to all regional properties.

However, that’s where the similarities end. The business water market works very differently from the domestic water market in Britain. The business water market is deregulated such that commercial properties choose their supplier of water services. In contrast, households are always supplied by their local wholesaler.

Businesses in England and Scotland can compare the different water suppliers and choose one that offers the cheapest water rates and the best service.

Household water is the supply of water services to a property where the principal use of the building is a home. In Britain, the regional water wholesaler always performs the role of water supplier to households. You can find your supplier with our in-depth blog on “who is my water supplier?”.

Our business water experts have produced a study comparing the cost of household versus default business water rates. The study found that in 2023, domestic water rates are, on average, 18% cheaper than the rates paid by most small companies.

For more information, here’s our analysis answering the question, are business water rates cheaper than domestic?

Environmental concerns with business water suppliers

Over the past two years, there’s been growing outrage over the frequency that water companies dump sewage into rivers and onto beaches. This has culminated in serious doubts over the future viability of Thames Water, the UK’s biggest water company.

It’s, therefore, entirely understandable that people are concerned about the environmental impact of their business water supplier.

However, business water suppliers do not operate the water infrastructure that delivers water or removes sewage to your business. Instead, this is the role of your regional water wholesaler.

Here’s Water UK’s handy postcode tool to find out who is your regional water wholesaler.

To help raise awareness of the environmental consequences of the mains water supply, we’ve prepared a detailed guide to the environmental impact of the water industry.

Business water suppliers – Frequently asked questions

Here are the top questions asked surrounding commercial water suppliers.

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 business water comparison service.

How do I know if I am getting a good deal from my current business water supplier?

Here are two key steps in determining if you’re getting a good deal from your business water supplier:

  • Determine if you are paying default business water rates – If you haven’t agreed to a fixed tariff with a business water supplier, you’ll be paying default water rates. Default business water rates are needlessly expensive, and much cheaper deals are available in the market.
  • Compare business water rates – The business water market is competitive, with suppliers competing to offer the cheapest prices. Request quotes from multiple suppliers to see if your current business water supplier is competitive.

Our simple business water comparison service is a quick and easy way to see if you’re getting a good deal from your current supplier.

Which commercial water suppliers in Scotland can I choose from?

There are 17 business water suppliers in Scotland to choose from; see our list above.

The Scottish commercial water market was the first to deregulate in the UK, so the savings available from switching water suppliers away from the default tariff provider are significant.

Do commercial water suppliers include sewerage prices?

Yes, they do. Commercial water suppliers provide water and wastewater (sewerage) services to businesses. Our business water comparison tool shows water and wastewater rates available across the market.

Are there any penalties for switching business water suppliers?

Yes, there will likely be an exit fee if you cancel before the end of your contract. To find out how much the exit fee is, you will have to check the “Terms & Conditions” section on your contract.

Here, it will display the exit fee and charges if you switch before your contract ends or out of the window.

Are there any industry-specific ratings or reviews of business water suppliers?

The market operator MOSL publishes an annual trading party performance report; however, this focuses on more operational aspects of execution rather than customer-specific performance.

For this, we highly recommend undertaking your own due diligence. When reviewing water suppliers, it’s best to understand your needs and wants for a new commercial water supplier.

For example, are you just looking for a cheap supply? Or are you looking for improved customer service?

Once you understand what you want, it’s time to review the current and previous customers’ insights. We recommend that you go to each of the suppliers’ Trustpilot to get an accurate overview of the supplier.

You can view a list of trusted business water suppliers on our breakdown or verify them directly with Ofwat.

How do I know which business water supplier is right for me?

It entirely depends on what you are looking for from your next business water supplier. Is it price? Is it customer service? Is it multi-property billing services?

There are plenty of reasons why you wish to switch business water suppliers but to find the right option for your business, you must understand what you are looking for from a supplier.

Here are the most common reasons to switch business water suppliers:

  • Price – A business wants to pay the cheapest prices possible for its water supply. The best way to manage this is to use a business water comparison tool and compare the latest prices.
  • Customer service – you should identify possible suppliers and review what their current and past customers say about them. The best option is to check out their Trustpilot or Google Reviews page.
  • Services – A business looking for more than just a business water supply may look for a supplier that offers additional services like water audits, leak detection, smart water meters and more.

It’s best to review each business water supplier and their additional services. You can grab that information in our ultimate guide to business water suppliers above.

Can I change business water supplier?

Yes, you can change business water supplier. Since deregulation, businesses in England and Scotland have been able to change their business water supplier. Deregulation happened:

  • in England on 1 April 2017; and
  • in Scotland on 1 April 2008.

Deregulation split the water industry into water wholesalers and commercial water suppliers.

Water wholesalers are responsible for supplying clean water to all properties in your local area. When there is a problem with your water supply, water meter, or a leak in the pipe to your property, your wholesaler will fix the problem.

Since wholesalers are responsible for the water infrastructure in a particular region, it is impossible to switch wholesalers.

Business water suppliers purchase water directly from the wholesaler in bulk and then sell it to individual commercial users anywhere in the country.

For more information on changing commercial water suppliers, check out our complete guide on how to switch business water suppliers.

Do businesses pay for water in Scotland?

Yes. Scottish companies pay their chosen business water supplier for the following:

  • Volumetric water and wastewater charges per cubic meter of water used.
  • Potable water standing charges at a fixed annual fee.
  • Surface and road drainage charges are based on rateable value.

To learn more, check our handy business water rates calculator.

Is my water supplier a business water supplier?

This can often be a point of confusion. On deregulation in 2017, some traditional water suppliers split into two similarly branded suppliers – a business water supplier and a household water supplier and wholesaler business.

A good example of this is in the Surrey region. The regional wholesaler, SES Water, supplies households, while SES Business Water supplies commercial properties.

SES Water is the company that owns and operates the local water network. SES Water is also the supplier to all homes in the region, providing invoicing and customer services.

SES Business Water is a licenced business water supplier that purchases water wholesale from SES water (and other regional wholesalers) and provides retail services to companies and other non-households.

Here’s our handy list to determine if your water supply is a business water supplier.

Regional water companiesBusiness water suppliers
Dwr Cymru CyfyngedigAnglian Water Business
Hafren Dyfrdwy CyfyngedigBrightwater
Scottish WaterBusiness Stream
Northumbrian WaterCambrian Utilities
Severn Trent WaterCastle Water
Southern WaterClear Business Water
South West WaterConservAqua
Thames WaterEverflow
United UtilitiesFirst Business Water
Wessex WaterPinnacle Business Water
Yorkshire WaterPure Business Water
Affinity WaterSource for business
Bristol WaterRegent Water
Portsmouth WaterSmarta Water
South East WaterVeolia Water
South Staffordshire WaterThe Water Retail Company
Sutton and East Surrey WaterWater Plus

What do business water suppliers do?

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

The primary responsibilities of business water suppliers are:

  • Providing accurate billing for water, wastewater and drainage services used.
  • Provide a customer services function to resolve customer queries.
  • Conduct twice annual physical meter readings to measure water consumed.

Business water suppliers are not responsible for maintaining and operating the water network. The British water network is operated by regional wholesalers who fix any issues that might arise with your supply.

If there is an interruption to your water supply, your commercial water supplier will contact your wholesaler to resolve the problem.

Check out our complete guide to British water infrastructure for more information on the role of wholesalers.

Who is my business water supplier?

The easiest way to find your current business water supplier is to look at a recent business water bill. Your supplier is the company charging for your water and wastewater services.

If your business has never received an invoice for your water supply or you’ve recently moved into a property, we offer a free service to determine who your water supplier is. Our in-house water experts can quickly check your property address details, and we’ll let you know your current business water supplier.

Which commercial water suppliers offers a sustainable tariff?

In 2022, business water suppliers started to introduce sustainable tariffs that offset the carbon footprint caused by the treatment and transportation of mains water.

Business water suppliers are pursuing the following green initiatives:

Everflow Water – Everflow has announced that they are the first 100% carbon neutral water supplier. Everflow purchases carbon credits to offset the carbon footprint associated with the mains water supply.

Water-Plus – Water-Plus is a winner of the Green Apple environmental awards 2021. Water Plus won this award through their actions:

  • Supporting the Woodland Trust’s tree-planting campaigns.
  • Supporting Forest Carbon’s work to restore peatland

See what green water tariffs are available to your business using the AquaSwitch business water comparison tool.

Do businesses pay water rates?

Yes, businesses pay water rates from their business water supplier.

If you haven’t switched your commercial water supplier before, we suggest using our business water comparison tool to help you analyse the market and to easily see the different tariffs available to your business.

Which business water suppliers accept sole traders?

Most business water suppliers accept sole traders. To onboard with a new business water supplier as a sole trader, you will need to provide the following additional information:

  • Sole trader name
  • Last three years’ business address
  • Date of birth

The new supplier will process a personal credit check as part of their onboarding procedures as a sole trader.

How does my business credit score affect the business water supplier I can choose from?

Each business water supplier has its own credit criteria, which they use when onboarding new customers.

If your business has a poor credit rating, you’ll be limited in your choice of business suppliers and tariffs. Some suppliers won’t accept companies with a low credit score, while others won’t be able to offer their most competitive tariffs.

At AquaSwitch, our water experts will help your business find the best deal available, given your business’s credit rating.

Check out our complete guide to how credit scores impact business water supply.

Do business water suppliers offer 1-year contracts?

Yep, they do. You can request 1, 2 and 3-year contracts with commercial water suppliers.

One-year contracts tend to cost a little more, but depending on your circumstances, this may be the perfect length of the contract for your business. Generally, the longer the contract, the cheaper the annual cost.

Business water supplier jargon buster

Consolidated billing – Receiving a single bill from your business water supplier covering multiple business properties.

CMA – “Central Market Agency” – An organisation that administers the market for water and wastewater retail services in Scotland.

MOSL – “Market Operator Services Limited” – An organisation that administers the market for water and wastewater retail services in England.

SPID – “Supply Point ID” – A unique identifier associated with each water supply and wastewater removal location to non-household businesses across Britain.

Water network connection – Arranging for a new property to be connected to the water and wastewater networks.

Water supply
– Transportation of potable water to a property.

Wastewater supply – Transportation of sewage away from the property for treatment.

Wholesalers – Regional utility companies that manage the water network and who are responsible for maintaining the water and wastewater supplies.

Our data sources

All data in this guide has been collated from public sources during 2022 and 2023. In the list of English business water suppliers, we have linked to the website of each supplier.

Additionally, we have used the following sources:

The AquaSwitch energy comparison service

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The Authors of this page

This page was written and reviewed by our business water experts Tom Melhuish and Ben Brading.

For more on our editorial process.