Business Water Suppliers

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Best Business Water Suppliers | May 2024

Many business owners are unaware they have a choice in their water supplier and simply accept poor service and expensive bills from their current provider.

There are over 20 business water suppliers competing in the market, offering a significant opportunity to reduce costs and obtain better service for your business.

This guide provides all the information you need to choose the best business water supplier for your company.

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Business Water Suppliers 2024

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.

The following table lists licensed business water suppliers in Britain and their services. Click on a supplier’s name to learn more about its services.

Business water supplier brandBusiness water supplier nameWater supplier servicesEnglish supply licenceScottish supply licence
ADSMAdvanced Demand Side Management LimitedWater management servicesYesYes
BluewaterBlue Business Water LimitedGeneral business water supplierNoYes
BrightwaterBrightwater LimitedGeneral business water supplierNoYes
Business StreamScottish Water Business Stream LimitedGeneral business water supplierYesYes
Cambrian UtilitiesCambrian Utilities LimitedNot accepting new customersYesNo
Castle WaterCastle Water LimitedGeneral business water supplierYesYes
Clear Business WaterClear Business Water LimitedGeneral business water supplierYesYes
ConservAquaConservAqua LimitedGeneral business water supplierYesNo
Commercial Water SolutionsCommercial Water Solutions LimitedGeneral business water supplierNoYes
EverflowEverflow LimitedGeneral business water supplierYesYes
First Business WaterFirst Business WaterGeneral business water supplierYesNo
Olympus WaterOlympos Water LimitedWater connection services onlyYesNo
Pure UtilitiesPure (CGV) LimitedGeneral business water supplierNoYes
SmartaSmarta WaterGeneral business water supplierYesYes
SES Business WaterSutton and East Surrey Water Services LimitedGeneral business water supplierYesYes
Source for BusinessPennon Water Services LimitedGeneral business water supplierYesYes
VeoliaVeolia Water Retail (UK) LimitedWater management servicesYesYes
Water Retail CompanyThe Water Retail Company LimitedGeneral business water supplierNoYes
Water PlusWater Plus LimitedGeneral business water supplierYesYes
Water2BusinessWater 2 Business LimitedGeneral business water supplierYesYes
WaterscanWaterscan LimitedWater management servicesYesYes
WaveAnglian Water Business (National) LimitedGeneral business water supplierYesYes
YuYu Water LimitedGeneral business water supplierYesNo
<h3 id="Business-Stream">Business Stream</h3>

Business Stream

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

In 2017, Business Stream was tasked with supplying non-household customers who were previously served by Southern Water.

Additional Services

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

Website
Customer service
Trustpilot reviews

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

Castle Water

Castle Water began trading in 2017 when it was appointed as the water supplier for businesses in the Thames Water and Portsmouth Water regions.

Since then, Castle Water has expanded its customer base through strategic acquisitions of Cobolt Water and Invicta Water and a merger with Affinity for Business.

Additional services

Consolidated billing
Water efficiency services
Water network connection
Smart Meters

Website
Customer services
Trustpilot reviews

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

Clear Business

Clear Business Water is the leading independent water provider in Scotland and has expanded its operations into England’s water market.

Specialising in serving small businesses, Clear Business also offers a range of utility products beyond water, including as a business energy supplier.

Additional services
Consolidated Billing
Smart Meters

Website
Customer services
Trustpilot reviews

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

ConservAqua

In January 2020, ConservAqua entered the open water market. It is dedicated to delivering excellent customer service, precise billing, and a variety of additional water-related services.

With a strong environmental focus, ConservAqua addresses the challenge of water scarcity in the UK by providing innovative solutions such as smart water meters, greywater systems, and rainwater harvesting.

Additional services

Water efficiency services
Smart Meters
Off-grid supply advice

Website
Customer services
Trustpilot reviews

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

Everflow

Everflow was founded in 2014 in Hartlepool and proudly became the first business water supplier to offer all its customers a carbon-neutral water and wastewater service, offsetting carbon emissions through carbon credits.

In 2023, it was rebranded as Everflow Utilities, expanding its services to encompass environmentally friendly waste management solutions and business broadband solutions.

Additional services

Consolidated billing
Waste management solutions

Website
Customer services
Trustpilot reviews

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

First Business Water

Established in 2017, First Business Water is a forward-thinking water retailer known for its proactive approach to improving the water consumption of its customers.

First Business Water offers WaterDeck, an online platform for aggregating water consumption data from commercial properties. WaterDeck provides insights into water usage and evaluates the effectiveness of water-saving strategies.

Additional services

Consolidated billing
Water efficiency services

Website
Customer Services
Telephone

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

Pure Utilities

Pure Utilities, established in April 2015 in Scotland, focuses on delivering exceptional customer service alongside competitive pricing.

Based in Preston, Pure Utilities is dedicated to helping businesses reduce unnecessary water consumption. To facilitate this, they offer a complimentary Water Efficiency self-assessment tool on their website.

Additional services

Water efficiency services
Water-saving devices
Smart Meters

Website
Customer services
Trustpilot reviews

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

SES Business Water

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, SES Business Water was responsible for supplying water to all commercial properties in the South London area.

Additional services

Consolidated billing
Smart Meters

Website
Customer services
Trustpilot reviews

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

Source for Business

Source for Business, a newly established national brand, consolidates Bournemouth Business Water, Cambridge Water Business, South Staffs Water Business, and South West Water.

Serving 160,000 businesses nationwide, it also boasts 25 years of experience and provides various value-added services, including smart water meter installation, leak repair, and wastewater treatment.

Additional services

Consolidated billing
Water efficiency services

Website
Customer services
Trustpilot reviews

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

Water Plus

Water Plus was established as a joint venture between United Utilities and Severn Trent.

Water Plus places a strong emphasis on environmental responsibility, exemplified by its significant partnership with Trees for Cities.

As part of their commitment, Water Plus has ambitious plans to plant more than 1,000 trees in urban areas.

Additional services

Smart Meters
Water connection services
Consolidated billing
Water efficiency services

Website
Customer services
Trustpilot reviews

<h3 id="water-2-business">Water2Business</h3>

Water2Business

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 and has consistently demonstrated exceptional performance in handling customer complaints.

Additional services

Consolidated billing
Smart Meters

Website
Customer services
Trustpilot reviews

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

Wave

Wave, a national business water supplier, was formed by merging two regional suppliers, Anglian Water Business and Northumbrian Water Group.

Wave has a strong commitment to customer service and a deep understanding of the evolving water industry. They offer tailored solutions and innovative services to meet the diverse needs of their customers.

Additional services

Consolidated billing
Water efficiency service

Website
Customer services
Trustpilot reviews

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

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

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: 707,233 supply points – Inherited all businesses in the Midlands and the South West on deregulation.
  2. Castle Water: 481,166 supply points – Inherited all businesses in the Thames Basin, East and South East of England on deregulation.
  3. Wave: 391,504 supply points – Inherited businesses in Northumbria, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire on deregulation.
  4. Business Stream: 390,583 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 in March 2024.

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
  • 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 March 2024, 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.

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 so 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.

To learn more about the process, refer to our complete guide to business water suppliers going bust.

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 vs household water – what’s the difference?

All properties in Britain are connected to the water networks operated by local water companies, which are responsible for maintaining the pipes servicing households and businesses in their areas.

Despite using the same infrastructure, there is a big difference in business and domestic water supplies:

  • Households receive their water supply directly from their local water company, which handles meter readings, billing, and customer service.
  • The commercial water market is deregulated, allowing companies to choose a business water supplier that indirectly provides water services to them.

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

In 2023, we compared household versus default business water rates. Our study revealed that in 2023, domestic water rates were, on average, 18% cheaper than the rates paid by most small companies.

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 – FAQs

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.

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.

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 2023 and 2024. 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 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.