Non-domestic water retail

Editor's picks

Defra's strategic policy statement to Ofwat has set out expectations for the regulator to improve the non-household water market in relation to retail, new connections and developer services. This includes protections for billpayers in the event of retailer failure as well as for small, less engaged business customers.
News
The strategic policy statement to Ofwat, which sets out the government's priorities for the next price review in 2024, has been laid before Parliament. The document gives top priority to the environment, emphasising the need to protect and enhance waterways by reducing the impacts of discharges from combined sewer overflows and other forms of pollution.
News
Water retailers will be required to return customers' credit balances and make them aware of the risks associated with advanced payment schemes, especially in the event of a retailer failure, under new rules. Ofwat approved the change to the non-household water retail code to add protections for business customers.
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Featured

As part of Utility Week’s Energy Reset campaign, we present a series of perspectives on tackling the cost of living crisis. Louise Beardmore is customer services and people director at United Utilities, the water company covering the most economically challenged region in the UK. In our latest piece, Beardmore argues there is a strong case for collaboration across the utilities sector.  
Opinion
The west of England faces a possible 277 megalitre (Ml) daily water deficit by 2050 if action is not taken. The West Country Water Resource Group has called for significant demand reduction to head off this scenario, along with effluent reuse and using existing reservoir and groundwater storage more efficiently.
News
Water Resources East has launched its draft plan for meeting future water needs in what is the driest region of England. With imminent statutory reductions to abstraction licences to protect waterbodies and population growth set to be the highest outside of London, WRE said the solutions outlined in the plan, which include desalination, reservoirs and significant demand management, cannot be delayed.
News

Latest in Non-domestic water retail

United Utilities has proposed adding a climate change-linked condition to its executive bonus scheme. It said the incentive would bring the policy in line with the company's environmental and social ambitions.
News
Everflow has claimed to have become the first carbon neutral water company in the UK by offsetting its emissions for the water it supplies to business retail consumers until the end of 2023. In line with wholesalers, the firm is also working to achieve net zero by 2040 by minimising its carbon emissions as much as possible and offsetting the unavoidable ones through carbon removal projects.
News
MOSL has set out its plan to improve the quality, completeness and accuracy of data held in the non-household market operating system to move the market beyond long-held frictions and towards playing a significant role in wider water challenges such as scarcity and achieving net zero carbon emissions.
News
Smart water meters, though not yet mandated in the UK, have the potential to provide significant benefits for the UK's drive to net zero and for customer experience. David Ainsley of Capita explores how to maximise their potential.
Opinion
Water retailers speak to Utility Week about what Defra's strategic policy statement to Ofwat means for the non-household sector. Emphasising the environment and using competition to drive the market are the right calls, retailers say, but the devil will be in the detail
Analysis
The price cap for water retailers will rise by 0.49% for two years from April to cover bad debt costs incurred in the non-household market as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and national lockdowns. Ofwat has raised the uplift from the 0.31% increase proposed in December.
News
Following an investigation into whether Thames Water's approach to replacing smart meters breached competition rules by hindering third-party and retailer access to consumption data, the water wholesaler has committed to remove subscription charges for data services and provide compensation where logging equipment has been lost or damaged.
News
Dissatisfaction with water suppliers among non-household customers more than doubled in 2021, according to an Ofwat-commissioned survey. The annual poll undertaken Opinion Research Services found 17% of the 700 organisations surveyed were unhappy with their service last year, up from 6% in 2020 and 8% in 2019.
News
Self-supply water manager Waterscan has guided a major brewer through obtaining a self-supply licence following a merger between Carlsberg and Marston's. Managing director Neil Pendle told Utility Week the experience has opened Waterscan up to new retailing opportunities, particularly in the Scottish market.
News
The strategic policy statement (SPS) informing Ofwat of the government's priorities for the water sector for PR24 and beyond will be formally laid out in parliament today (2 February). It is expected to reinforce the message in the draft SPS that protecting and enhancing the water environment must be central to the price review
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Ofwat has named the judging panels for its two innovation fund competitions - Catalyst and Transform - which will awards grants of up to £10 million to develop solutions to shared problems in the water sector to benefit customers and the environment.
News
England could face a daily water deficit of 3,435 megalitres by 2050 - an extra 1,500 megalitres over the previous forecast from two years ago - if no action is taken to prevent the shortage, regional water resource groups have warned. Representatives of the groups said demand reduction will play a vital role in managing water resources across the country until major infrastructure projects can be completed.
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