What is retail competition?

Did you know the water industry is changing?

The water industry in England is changing. As of April 2017, businesses, charities and public sector organisations will be able to choose their water retail service provider, just as you can with other utilities such as gas and electricity. This means that no matter how much or how little water your business uses, you will be able to choose who handles your customer service activities such as billing, customer enquiries, payments and meter reading.

Essex & Suffolk Water will still be your wholesaler so we will continue to supply your water from the same source. The customer facing activities will be provided by Northumbrian Water Group′s new retail business, NWG Business, or another licensed retailer, if you choose to switch your provider.

If you’re a licensed water retailer, click here to find out more about Northumbrian Water’s wholesale business.

Does this affect all customers?

Only non-household customers with business premises can choose their water supplier. The change doesn’t affect domestic (household) customers.

Click here to access a step by step eligibility guide to see if you qualify.

We have already written to all non-household customers that we consider to be eligible to enter the market. If you have received a letter from us but believe that you are not eligible to enter the market please contact us. If you are a business, charity or public sector organisation, read on to find out more.

What does this mean for my organisation?

We know how important continuity of service is for our customers so when the change comes into effect in April 2017 your account will automatically transfer to NWG Business and we will make sure this is easy and effortless for you.

We hope that you are keen to continue to receive our high levels of customer service and value for money but should you wish to change to an alternate retailer we will help you to do this as quickly and effortlessly as possible.

From then on you will deal with your retailer for all billing and customer service enquiries.

Why is this happening?

The new deregulated water market will mean that much like the gas and electricity market, customers engage with an approved retailer for billing, meter reads and customer service. It will allow more competition, and retailers will strive to provide customers with better levels of service, streamlining of accounts, more added value and innovation.

Is there anything I need to do?

Not right now. We will keep in touch over the coming months to make sure you are well informed about the changes before they happen.

We have tools to support and help businesses to get to know their water data now. You can look for trends, start to work to identify efficiencies and understand your water footprint.

If you have any concerns or require additional information on the changes please contact us on 0333 207 9283 or alternatively visit www.open-water.org.uk. Stay up to date on our Twitter feed @eswater_care.

Downloadable content

Existing retail competition

If you use more than 5 megalitres (5 million litres) of water per year, at a single site you can already switch your water service provider under current legislation. (Please note it is not currently possible to switch your sewage services). You can only switch to a licensed supplier who has a current water services license. More details on this are contained within our Network Access Code or can be obtained by contacting competition@nwl.co.uk

For more information on retail competition

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