The firms have applied to the environment secretary for permission to exit. With approval from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, they will separate their wholesale business and transfer all of their non-household customers to Water2business, a retailer regulated by Ofwat, on 3 April 2017.
Since 2001 all Bristol Water and Wessex Water customers have been jointly billed for their water and wastewater services. Water2business, a company is born out of this joint billing venture, is acquiring Bristol and Wessex’s business customers. Business accounts will be automatically transferred to Water2business.
Wessex Water managing director Andy Pymer said: “We are in a unique position of having an established and successful working relationship with Water2business and are confident that customers will receive the same standards of service that they are used to from Bristol Water and Wessex Water.”
Bristol Water customer services and IT director Ben Newby said: “Retail competition changes the customer journey for businesses. While this change is complex behind the scenes, it will be straightforward and seamless for the customer.”
Bristol Water and Wessex Water will continue to deliver wholesale water and wastewater services to business customers, and there is no change for domestic customers.
The new water market is called Open Water. It is due to open on 3 April 2017, allowing more than 1.2 million eligible businesses and other non-household customers in England to be able to choose their supplier of water and wastewater retail services.