The English water market was opened up for all commercial and non-household customers in April 2017, two years on, we look at how the market has changed.
An initial price review took place in 2014, with another in December 2019 as part of an overall initiative known as Water 2020. The aim of the initiative was to increase the amount of retailers and market participants to encourage competition and drive down prices for consumers.
It was also hoped existing suppliers would improve their product and level of service, meaning price was not the only factor when choosing a new water contract.
Water Plus has recently released a report providing a market update following the Energy Live Consultancy Conference 2019 which has been summarised below.
The report shows that only 8% of sites have switched supplier in the last two years, while 30 new retail licenses have been granted – meaning a large number of businesses have not benefitted from a more competitive market.
Market activity has remained broadly consistent over the last 12 months, with corporate customers the most active in terms of switching contract. Whereas SME switching has remained low and the market is largely driven by TPIs.
The Key Market Challenges within the Water Sector remain:
- Standardisation of pricing
- Wholesaler processes and customer interaction/ management
- The quality of the market data
- Increasing margins
In attempt to tackle these issues, suppliers will be looking to improve services and products by:
- Improving service and wholesaler management processes
- Unifying contract and billing systems to improve reliability
- Improve bill transparency and bill validation processes
- Improve online resources
- Appoint dedicated TPI account managers
- Provide end to end query tracking
In summary, the market is growing at an expected rate but suppliers have only recently turned focus on process innovations as market and system issues have provided retailers with numerous challenges.
If you would like to learn more about how your business can benefit from switching water contracts then get in touch with Apollo Energy by filling out the enquiry form on our contact page or by calling us on 01257 239500.