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In April 2017, the business water market in England opened for competition allowing businesses to choose who supplied their water. The changes aimed to offer more choice to business customers and put an end to overly expensive business water rates and contracts.
Over 1.2 million businesses can now switch their water supplier and avoid the regional monopoly based on the location of their premises. If your business hasn’t yet switched water suppliers, you could significantly reduce your water bills by comparing water suppliers today.
British Business Energy can help you find the best deal for your business to ensure you never have to overpay for your commercial water again.Compare Business Water
What are the benefits of switching water supplier?
The overall objective of opening the water market for competition was to give business customers more choice at a reduced cost.
Some of the benefits of switching your supplier include:
Lower water rates
Lower bills are the most obvious benefit of comparing business water suppliers. The price you’re currently paying will be dependent on where your business is located. As tariffs from the leading water providers can vary significantly, you could make real savings by switching water providers.
You can take advantage of new competitive rates by comparing prices with British Business Energy.
If your business has sites in multiple locations, you now have a great opportunity to consolidate your bills. Previously, if you had sites in different areas of the country, you would have contracts with several water suppliers with separate billing and various customer service teams.
Now, your business can choose one provider to supply all your sites with one contract and consolidated billing.
Improved customer service
Increasing levels of customer service was one of the most important aims of the deregulation of the water market.
Businesses now have the option of switching water suppliers if they are unhappy with the customer service they are receiving from their current provider.
You will also have the option of choosing the water supplier that best matches the requirements of your business.
How does the process of switching business water providers work?
At British Business Energy, we aim to make the process of switching water suppliers as simple and hassle free as possible.
All we need from you is a few details about your business and your current water supplier. Our dedicated water team will then get to work to find you the best business water rates available.
The entire process can be completed in three easy steps:
Step 1: We discuss your water requirements
Our specialist team will discuss your current usage and your businesses requirements to ensure we can find a deal which suits the needs of your business.
Step 2: Compare the best business water rates
Our team will provide you with the best business water quotes available from our trusted supplier. All you need to do is chose the right deal for you.
Step 3: Complete your switch and save on your bills
Once you’ve chosen the deal you’d like to, our dedicated team will take care of the process of moving you to your new water provider.
How much can I save by switching water suppliers?
The amount your business could save by switching water suppliers will depend on your business size, location, and your water usage.
However, there is some guidance offered by the water market in Scotland which opened for competition in 2008. Since deregulation, Scottish businesses have saved more than £133 million on their commercial water rates. This includes £73 million in discounts and £54 million in efficiencies.
What are the current business water supplier prices?
Here, we’ve provided an overview of the published tariffs from the top ten UK water companies for small business water.
2021 Small business water prices
|SUPPLIER||WATER £/M3||WATER FIXED||WASTE £/M3||WASTE FIXED||TOTAL BILL|
|2. Thames Water||£17.84||£0.8963||£44.71||£1.457||£553.21|
|3. Severn Trent||£1.5172||£45.59||£0.9400||£39.53||£576.56|
|4. United Utilities||£1.7010||£48.07||£1.1050||£0||£609.27|
|5. Yorkshire Water||£1.3621||£40.86||£1.5599||£48.91||£674.17|
|6. Anglian Water||£1.3472||£58||£1.4212||£37||£684|
|7. Southern Water||£1.9998||£46||£1.2484||£18||£713|
|8. Wessex Water||£1.2600||£50.89||£1.9988||£85.85||£788|
|9. Business Stream||£1.5652||£68.22||£1.8391||£79.36||£828.44|
|10. South West||£1.9718||£50.85||£2.9162||£49.83||£1,078.28|
You should bear in mind that these will not necessarily be the best prices available. Businesses should always compare prices before signing up to a new water contract.
2021 Medium-Sized business water prices
|SUPPLIER||WATER £/M3||WATER FIXED||WASTE £/M3||WASTE FIXED||TOTAL BILL|
|2. Thames Water||£1.4570||£17.84||£0.8963||£44.71||£3,592.50|
|3. Severn Trent||£1.5172||£45.59||£0.9400||£39.53||£3,770.92|
|4. Anglian Water||£1.3472||£58.00||£1.4212||£37.00||£4,247.60|
|5. United Utilities||£1.7010||£48.07||£1.1050||£0||£4,257.07|
|6. Yorkshire Water||£1.3621||£40.86||£1.5599||£48.91||£4,472.60|
|7. Southern Water||£1.9998||£46.00||£1.2484||£18.00||£4,936.30|
|8. Wessex Water||£1,2600||£50.89||£1.9988||£85.85||£5,024.94|
|9. Business Stream||£1.5652||£68.22||£1.8391||£79.36||£5,254,03|
|10. South West||£1.9718||£50.85||£2.9162||£49.83||£7,432.68|
Medium-sizes businesses can potentially save even more by comparing water prices. The difference between the highest and lowest tariff is over £4,500.
If you still haven’t switched business water suppliers, you could be paying much more than you need to due to the location of your business.
Why switch water provider with British Business Energy?
At British Business Energy, we provide your business with free, impartial advice to help you find the best business water rates available.
By comparing water prices with us, you will have an expert on your side throughout the switching process. They will be on hand to get you set up with your new water provider and answer any questions you may have on the process.
We’ll even stay in touch with you when your contract is ending to ensure you remain on the best water rates and never overpay for your business water again.
To find out how much you can save on your business water bills, compare the latest prices with British Business Energy.
Could a water audit lower my business water rates?
The regional lottery on water rates has resulted in some businesses in the UK being overcharged by up to 65%.
With a water audit, your business can benefit from in-depth research on your water rates and usage to discover how you can save money.
Your water audit will cover:
- Usage and consumption checks
- Drainage checks
- Sanitary checks
- Return to sewer checks
If you spend over £1,000 on your water bills annually, you can even receive your water audit completely free of charge.
Business Water FAQs
Are water rates different for businesses?
Whilst domestic users are only provided by their regional supplier, non-domestic customers can switch to any water provider in the UK. This gives much greater flexibility to businesses as they can compare prices and just the best supplier for their needs.
Business water rates are often cheaper than domestic water rates due to the higher usage of non-domestic users.
How are business water rates calculated?
The way your business water rates are calculated will depend on whether or not you have a water meter at your premises.
Premises without a meter will be charged a set rate which is usually based on the value of your property.
Premises with a meter will be charged a set daily standing charge and a rate based on the volume of water used. Charges for foul and sewerage will also be charged based on the amount and strength of effluent discharged.
Do business water rates have VAT?
VAT is only added to business water bills for certain industries. This depends on how your business uses its water supply. If your business uses water as a direct input during production, it will be taxable by VAT.
The VAT rate of 20% will be applied to your water bills.
An example of industries that are likely to pay VAT on water bills includes:
- Food production
- Textile production
If your business does not use water as a direct input during production, you will not be charged VAT on your water bills.
How is the business water industry regulated?
Ofwat is the economic regulator of the water and sewerage sectors to protect the interests of consumers. This includes ensuring water companies properly carry out their functions and ensure water companies can finance their functions.
What types of water meter are available for businesses?
Most business premises will have a water meter installed. A standard water meter requires you to send readings to your water provider. It’s important to send regular readings to your supplier to receive the most accurate billing possible.
An Automatic Meter Reader (AMR) offers automatic readings which are sent to you. This allows you to receive more accurate billing and helps to avoid overcharges on your account.
What is a section 104 sewer?
A section 104 sewer falls under Section 104 of the Water Industry Act. This is a legal agreement between a developer and a water company. The developer agrees to build sewers to an agreed standard which the water company will then take over.
Is it possible to claim back overpaid business water charges?
If your water bill is in credit, you may be able to claim a refund from your provider. You will need to contact your water provider to claim your refund. Most suppliers will offer a refund either by bank transfer or by cheque.
If you are in credit at the time of switching to a new water provider, you should be entitled to a refund from your old supplier.