England to reap the benefits from competitive water market

Customers could save 12% on their water spend from the new England and Wales water deregulation in 2017 says IMServ

Water deregulation is in sight for England with the Water Bill coming into effect in April 2017. With the prospect of reduced spending on water for businesses – Scottish companies are spending £65m less on water consumption since competition was introduced seven years ago – how will the changes impact UK businesses?

Sam Dean, Business Development Manager at IMServ, one of the UK’s largest independent energy data management providers, welcomes the changes and believes customers could save 12% on their energy bill. She explains: “Whilst large business customers have enjoyed some choice of water supplier in recent years, in 2017 the whole business market will be opened up in England for the very first time. In our experience customers have significantly appreciated utility suppliers addressing ways to save them money on their energy bills. Customers are also keen to benefit from total transparency of consumption and energy alerting to enable informed energy choices and implement effective energy management strategies.”

The success Scotland has achieved in pioneering a competitive model for the non-domestic water market has provided interesting insight into the likely benefits for England, post regulation. According to Business Stream, the deregulation of the non-domestic water market in Scotland led to more than 28,000 tonnes of carbon savings, and the Water Bill will put customers in England at the heart of the water sector.

Sam added: “The deregulation will result in more direct, consultative engagement through greater competition, regulatory incentives and a cultural change across the sector. It will also help to incentivise utilities to be more efficient, improve service and reduce customer consumption, leaving more water for the environment whilst reducing businesses’ water spend.

“From our market insight with end users and water companies there is an expectation that customers will save 12% on their water spend by the new deregulation in 2017. This change is being driven by the need for improved transparency of water consumption, leak detection, benchmark reporting and dashboard analysis to declare how well a customer is managing their energy consumption – total transparency to internal and external stakeholders is the new market trend.

“There is a clear environmental and community benefit to the reductions in the sensitive world of water consumption and businesses are vital in driving through water sustainability targets to deliver better water management and manage water leakage. Water metering and data intelligence is driving this requirement. By acknowledging and monitoring our water consumption we are able to understand what we can do to reduce waste and make financial savings.”

Sam concluded: “Understanding a company’s water consumption is vital to achieve compliance and financial savings from the deregulation in 2017. Through metering and easy-to-view, dynamic and engaging data visibility, businesses and employees can quickly make efficiency measures and this can be converted into real financial savings and reduced consumption, which will be a positive for both the environment and businesses. The Water Bill will drive competition to view water consumption as no longer the ‘poorer relation’ of the utilities. Delivering the market and businesses with a true multi-utility focus is an exciting competitive market change which IMServ embrace.”