What are business water comparison sites ?
The water market in Scotland was deregulated in 2008, allowing none domestic customers to Switch Water Supplier for a better deal on their water bills in Scotland.
In England the water market was not deregulated until a good few years later April 2017, which marked the day when England followed suit allowing businesses and other organisations the opportunity to shop around for a better deal on their water bills.
This benefits around 1.2 million businesses, charities and public sector organisations which now have the choice of water suppliers.
So how does business water work?
The business water market works very much like other utility markets such as gas and electricity.
Remember the good old days when the gas and power markets were deregulated allowing customers to choose their energy supplier?
Competition between energy suppliers eventually led to competitive prices in the energy market, now visible in deregulated energy markets of today, likewise with the business water market.
Licenced water retail companies purchase water and wastewater wholesale services such as the physical supply of water and wastewater removal and treatment and sells these services in the water retail market to eligible customers such as businesses, public sector organisations and charities.
The business water retail market has been slow to get off the ground, however, over the last 12 months we have seen a marked increase in business water comparison sites, so what are they?
The water market is now going in the same direction as the gas and power markets, the main trading difference is the energy markets are volatile with prices rising and falling all day every day. Where as the water market wholesale prices are fixed and only change once a year.
Now with energy prices on the up, water and wastewater service costs are predicted to rise 10 to 15 percent based on the suppliers geographical location.
Last year the highest increases were in the North East @ 13 percent and with the energy price pressures, inflation and wage demands we could well see increases of 15 percent across the board.
Businesses are now turning to all sorts of methods to reduce costs and water is now becoming more popular, not only from a cost reduction perspective but also sustainability and carbon reduction.
As such we are now seeing an increase in business water comparison sites, aligned with business energy comparison sites.
The issues and challenges for customers are, what avenues are there available to switch water supplies and compare water retail companies on a like for like basis, in a competitive environment and a level playing field?
Sadly not many, as the majority of these sites are managed and operated by energy brokers claiming that they for example “Compare business water rates” “Compare your current water supplier to the best deals on the market” “Our experts can compare business water quotes from leading water suppliers” “And compare the market”
Many of these business water comparison sites are agents for only one or two water retail companies but they don’t tell customers that on the website or on the telephone, so in effect this amounts to miss-selling, which is challenging for customers and those participating in the water market.
So how do customers differentiate between honest, independent and impartial business water comparison sites?
The best way is asking them a few key questions for example: –
Out of 20 + water retail companies how many do you request prices from? and do you supply a list of those that have supplied prices and visibility of the system that operates the pricing request? (ask to view the price comparison system)
Are you governed or do you abide by OFWAT’s voluntary codes of conduct, and is this published on your website to view?
Do you have written and commercial broker deals with one or more water retail companies ? If so who are they, or are you only an agent for one and which water retailer is this ?
How long have you been trading in the water retail market (experience and expertise is needed).
Are any of your team recognised water industry experts?
Take a long look at their website and do your research.
Did you know there is only one business water comparison site in the whole of the UK that will tender your water supply contract to the Whole Market! The key points of this business SwitchWaterSupplier.com are: –
The business is independent, impartial and transparent. Developed and managed by water industry experts.
Your water billing data is uploaded onto the platform for you.
Upon completion, your details are sent out TO ALL licenced water retail companies with a request to confirm their interest in participating in a live tender.
The water retail companies confirm live tender participation and the platform goes live for 60 minutes as each water retail company submit details to the platform.
After 60 minutes the process is complete and the tender pricing is downloaded and delivered to the customer.
The customer decides which supplier they wish to award their business to and the water supply contract is sent over to the customer.
SwitchWaterSupplier.com manages the smooth transition from the existing water supplier to the new supplier “Switching made simple”
SwitchWaterSupplier.com is governed by and has adopted OFWAT’s voluntary codes of conduct
SwitchWaterSupplier.com has commercial contracts with water retail companies trading in the water retail market, and the company is not a sole agent for just one or two suppliers.
All water suppliers are invited to participate in every tender request from single sites to any number of sites nationwide at one click of a button, this gains you entry to the whole water retail market.
The team that developed and now manage SwitchWaterSupplier.com are all water industry experts in their own right with between 20 and 30 years experience and expertise.