Yu Water has become the latest entrant to the new retail water market after being granted a licence by regulator Ofwat.

The company is a subsidiary of Yu Group, which also operates business energy supplier Yu Energy.

It intends to enter the non-household water market in water supply only, building upon its experience in the energy market for customer service and billing.

There are now 24 retailers operating in the market. These include retail arms of incumbent companies, independent companies from Scotland, and entirely new entrants.

Commenting on the news, Ofwat senior director Emma Kelso said: “It’s good news to see retailers bring different areas of expertise to the retail water market – with Yu Water bringing theirs from a background in energy.

“We are continuing to see thousands of non-household customers interacting with the market across England by taking full advantage of either renegotiating with their existing retailer or shopping around for the deal that suits them best. Greater competition in the market will result in more choice and better deals for customers.”

The business water retail market opened on 1 April this year, and is the largest market of its kind in the world.

Licensed retailers buy wholesale water services – the physical supply of water and the removal of wastewater – from the regional water companies, which continue to supply physical water to each premises. Retailers can package these water services together with other services to develop bespoke packages to suit individual business needs, ranging from customer service to water efficiency.

Water retail watch: eight months in – Utility week rounds up some of the issues and developments we’ve seen over the first eight months of the open water retail market.

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