Nottingham City Council has applied to Ofwat for a self-supply licence, which would allow it to provide its own water retail services.
In its application, the council said it intends to introduce a water self-supply model for its operational sites and the communal areas within its investment portfolio and Nottingham City Homes properties – which encompass around 377 supply point identifiers (SPIDs).
It added that the introduction of a self-supply model will enable an “improved standard of performance monitoring, control of budgets and reduced water consumption as well as more tailored customer service”.
Alongside the model, the council is introducing a water efficiency loan scheme to deliver water efficiency projects in order to generate additional water utility savings.
It is anticipated that, if the licence is granted, Nottingham City Council would access wholesale water prices, securing cost savings of 10 per cent.
Combining water savings and efficiency indicates that a total of 10 per cent will be saved per annum based on the baseline figure (2016/17).
Nottingham is the second council to have applied to self-supply, after Blackpool was granted its licence in June last year.
If successful, it will be the tenth self-supplier. The others are brewers Greene King, Marston’s, Heineken, and Stonegate, hospitality firm Whitbread, soft drinks maker Coca-Cola European Partners, laundry firm Berendsen, and telecoms company BT.
Nottingham City Council launched not-for-profit energy company Robin Hood Energy in September 2015.
In its latest annual sustainability report, Greene King revealed it has reduced its water footprint by more than 140,000 cubic metres (m3) since April 2017. Daily, the business has saved 384.32m3 – the equivalent of 676,313 pints.
In May last year, Ofwat streamlined the process of applying for a water retail self-supply licence, to make it easier for business customers wishing to take the route. The changes came into effect immediately and include reducing the application fee from £5,250 to £3,000.
The regulator began consulting on proposed changes in March 2018. It said it believes the process could be “better tailored” to reflect the differences in the information needed to assess self-supply applications.
Previously, applicants applying to self-supply had to go through a process very similar to the standard water supply and sewerage licence (WSSL) applications process.
Following consultation, Ofwat is introducing a modified application process for business customers applying for WSSLs limited to self-supply. This is now separate from the standard WSSL application process.