Kelda launches new non-household retail business, ‘Three Sixty’

Yorkshire Water’s parent company Kelda Group has launched a brand new non-household retail business, ‘Three Sixty’, which it hopes will “refresh the water market”.

The water firm said Three Sixty, which incorporates its Scottish business retail arm Kelda Water Services Retail, will “meet the specific needs of business customers nationwide” and will take a “distinctive approach” to the market.

Robert Marrill, formerly a director at Kelda Group’s non-regulated business Kelda Water Services, has been appointed as managing director of Three Sixty.

He said the company is “centred around adding value and helping businesses make water work for them, as seamlessly and cost effectively as possible”.

“In launching this new company, we know that what matters most to our customers is the uninterrupted, day-to-day running of their own businesses and we are passionate about helping them achieve this,” he added.

“In developing Three Sixty, we have learnt from all the attributes that made our sister company Yorkshire Water and our national water retail company Kelda Water Services Retail so successful and have applied them to this new company, putting customer service at the heart of everything we do.

“Three Sixty will be easy and straight forward to work with. We will provide real value for our business customers and build on the key strengths, expertise and decades of experience we have in the Three Sixty team.”

The market so far

So far, Portsmouth WaterSouthern Water and Thames Water have all announced plans to exit the market. Scottish retailer Castle Water will take on the business customers of Portsmouth and Thames, while Southern’s customers will be handed to Scottish incumbent supplier Business Stream.

Read Utility Week’s analysis – Thames Water quits business retail – here and Q&A with Thames chief financial officer Stuart Siddall here

The total number of companies to have applied for licences since Ofwat opened the process now stands at 15. The regulator has predicted as many as 40 new applications in the coming year.

Scottish players Castle WaterBusiness StreamCobalt Water and Clear Business Water have all submitted applications to participate in the English market.

Read Utility Week’s Q&A with Business Stream chief executive Johanna Dow here

English incumbents which have applied for licences are: Northumbrian Water Business – which has rebranded as Wave – Pennon Water Services, Anglian Water Business, Sutton and East Surrey Water Services, South Staffordshire Water Business, Water 2 Business, and Kelda Retail – now Three Sixty. South East Water has applied for a sewerage licence to offer a combined water supply and sewerage bill to customers in its supply area.

Severn Trent and United Utilities have also applied for their joint venture Water Plus, which was announced at the beginning of March. Chief executive Sue Amies-King told Utility Week that Water Plus would be “agile and innovative”, and bring in “fresh new ideas” from the new people being recruited.

Read the full Q&A with Amies-King here

Small Scottish supplier Everflow told Utility Week it is considering buying into the English market when it opens and will be applying for a licence soon. Veolia UK has also said it wants to grow its retail activities in the market, but has not yet applied for a licence.

Those wanting to join the market before it opens must apply to Ofwat on later than 5 October.