Rising Water Bills: What Can Businesses Do?
As of April 1st this year, businesses of all shapes and sizes will have had to account for a rise in retail water rates, with price caps increasing by 0.49 per cent. These fees are paid to water suppliers in return for supply, billing, customer services and regular meter readings.
Commercial water rates typically only increase once a year, but regulator Ofwat recently announced that a one-off increase in default rates would be introduced in 2022 to help offset increased levels of bad debt as a result of the pandemic.
The wholesale rate is what the local network owner will charge business water suppliers for operational and maintenance costs, with this increase then passed on directly to customers.
Because business failure rates increased during the healthcare crisis, suppliers were faced with an elevated debt burden, so Ofwat has now permitted them to increase overall default rates to prevent supplier failures.
What can businesses do about increasing water rates?
The good news is that there’s a lot you can do as a business to help bring your water rates back down – and a great first step to take is considering changing business water supplier.
The English water retail market opened up back in April 2017, bringing it in line with that of Scotland which opened up in 2008, giving businesses the freedom to choose their own water supplier for the very first time.
There are all sorts of benefits associated with switching, everything from being able to take advantage of better rates with a different supplier to better customer service, consolidated billing, value added extras and more.
You’ll also find that your water usage and consumption is likely to decrease after you’ve switched, as well.
The process involves having a water audit carried out of your entire site, allowing you to identify any weak and vulnerable areas so you can bring in the appropriate water-saving solutions… and these can be adjusted over time, based on your usage habits and changes in how your business operates.
You can also use the switching process to prioritise water leak detection and repair. Did you know that three million litres of water is lost each day through leakage in England? You may not even be aware that you have a leak on site, as the majority of them take place below ground so they’re hard to find or they’re so small that they’re barely noticeable.
But a water audit involves a review of your historical water bills, looking out for any spikes in usage that could be an indication that you have a leak somewhere.
From there, you can get to work trying to find it, carrying out any repair work necessary and reducing your water footprint – potentially quite significantly indeed. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with the SwitchWaterSupplier.com team today.