What to look out for when comparing business water suppliers
The minimum role of a business water supplier is to provide your business with customer services, regularly take meter readings at your property and accurately invoice your business for water used.
Some perform this role better than others, and the more innovative water suppliers go above and beyond to provide additional value-add services. Here’s what to look out for comparing business water suppliers:
1. Water efficiency services.
Some suppliers will actively work with your business to reduce water consumption, including giving your business access to live water consumption data and installing water-saving devices at your property.
2. Installing smart meters.
Without a smart meter, a supplier will need to send someone around your property to take a water meter reading every six months. A smart meter will record and transmit this data in real-time, allowing early leak detection and saving your business the cost of wasting water.
3. Customer service.
How long does your supplier take to answer the phone? Were billing queries you’ve had resolved quickly? Some suppliers take customer experience much more seriously than others. A quick look at online customer reviews will give you an idea of benefiting from an improved service.
4. Competitive pricing.
In the open water market, suppliers have the freedom to determine prices up to limits imposed by Ofwat. Noticed that your water bill increases each April? New suppliers are willing to provide their services at a discount to your legacy supplier. Find out if this is the case for your supplier using our free comparison service.
Comparing water supplier prices
The charges on a water bill are complicated, with different suppliers presenting the same information in different ways. Your business will be billed for:
Standing wholesale fees - These are fixed charges levied to maintain the network of pipes to and from your property.
Volumetric wholesale fees - These are charges that depend on how much water your business uses and how much wastewater your property produces.
Retail charges - This is an additional charge made by your business water supplier to cover the cost of providing customer services.
To further complicate matters, these charges vary depending on the location and size of your property.
Our free comparison service cuts through this complexity by providing you with a quote tailored to your business and providing a direct comparison to your current prices.
For our full breakdown and explanation of business, water charges, check out our guide.
Why should I compare business water in England and Scotland?
Water deregulation came into action in 2008 for Scotland and 2017 for companies in England. The deregulation has been designed to encourage competition in the market and allow businesses that shop around and get more competitive business water rates.
As the market opened in England it provided businesses with a wider range of business water suppliers access to the market allowing more choice in finding your preferred water rates.
The benefits of switching supplier are not just saving money but include improved customer service, improved water efficiency and a wider, more flexible, choice of water contracts to suit your business.
One of the top reasons for switching water suppliers is poor customer service. The newer business water suppliers that have entered the market since 2017 often provide smoother, highly efficient customer service processes. These more advanced processes allow you to resolve issues and other complaints far quicker.
If you are looking to compare business water rates today, fill out our simple form here
How do you compare business water rates?
Comparing your business water rates online is simple. It will give you all the information you need to understand whether you are currently getting a competitive deal from your current water supplier or whether a better deal exists on the market. To compare business water rates online, all you need is to provide the following information allowing each water supplier to quote for a supply agreement with your business:
1. The name of your business
2. Where your business is located
3. Your supply point identification number (SPID)*
4. Contact details
*To find out more about the SPID number and how to locate it, click here.
Which business water supplier is best?
Across England and Scotland, there are approximately 20 different companies with licences to provide water and wastewater services. There’s no simple answer to which is best, and it depends on your company’s priorities.
We’ve pulled together a simple guide comparing the largest business water suppliers
Who are the business water suppliers near me?
Before deregulation, your water supplier depended on where your property location. If you were within the Thames basin, you would be supplied by Thames Water, and if you were located in Stoke-on-Trent, you’d be with Severn-Trent Water.
The deregulation of the water market ended this local monopoly. This means as long as a business water supplier holds a licence to supply water with Ofwat or the Water Industry Commission for Scotland, they can provide water services to any business, regardless of location.
Should I consider a water audit?
If you’ve noticed an uptick in your business water bill but haven’t increased water usage on your business premises, a water audit can help you get to the bottom of the problem. By conducting a water audit, you can protect your water supply, identify opportunities to reduce your business water bill and, in turn, become a more environmentally friendly organisation.
A water audit is the assessment of how water distributed throughout your organisation is authorised, metered and billed. This is done by identifying how often water usage takes place and where in your facility water is used.
At this time, you can also monitor your water meter — if you notice unusual activity, unnecessary charges may be taking place. Once you review your meter and get an understanding of your current maintenance practices, you can get a better understanding of how your current water usage impacts your business water bills.
If the outcome shows that your current water retailer is costing your company money and impairing its ability to remain a water-efficient organisation, it may be time to explore different water retailers who can lower your annual water bill and contribute to a more water-efficient business plan.