The pub operator is the third company in England to be granted a self-supply licence by Ofwat

Brewery and pub retailer Marston’s, which operates more than 1,600 pubs, bars and lodges has been granted a self-supply licence to supply its own water and wastewater services.

It is the third company in England to be granted a self-supply licence by Ofwat, following brewer Greene King and hospitality firm Whitbread.

Andy Kershaw, head of group facilities for Marston’s, said: “This is a great opportunity for Marston’s, enabling us to drive efficiency and cost whilst working towards reducing consumption through our managed sites and breweries. It also gives us the platform to trial innovation and become an active partner in the market.”

Marston’s has entered a partnership agreement with Waterscan, which will take on the role and responsibilities for the retail functions. These include meter reading, central market operating system transactions, wholesaler management, paying water and sewerage charges through the settlement process, and finding further water efficiency savings.

The new open water market launched in April 2017 and it’s the largest of its kind in the world. It allows eligible companies and other organisations to self-supply and manage their own water retail services, instead of having to use a separate water retailer.

Emma Kelso, Ofwat’s senior director for customers and casework, said: “Since the business retail water market opened in April, we have already seen many businesses across England taking advantage of it by shopping around for a better deal or renegotiating contracts with their existing supplier.

“Marston’s PLC are a large, multi-site business, so opting to become a self-supplier could offer them benefits, including having more control over the service they get and reducing administration costs.”

Last month, Coca Cola European Partners became the fourth large business water customer in England to request a self-supply licence.

It said having a self-supply licence will give it a chance to “take more control” over its own water use, as well as allowing it to deal directly with the suppliers, and “build on the success” of its water programme.