UK Water Market Deregulation

The Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom recently confirmed that the UK retail water market will open as planned on 1st April 2017.

This means that the UK commercial water industry will be the first in the world to operate a competitive open market that encourages competition.

Overnight some 1.2 million eligible businesses, charities and public sector organisations in England will be able to choose from 1 of the current 21 licensed retailers.

We expect this to grow substantially over to next few years as we are aware of a number of organisations keen to provide additional value solutions back into their existing utility portfolio.

21 suppliers create the framework for a healthy, competitive water market, particularly when you compare this to the early days of the open energy market when new entrants were few and far between.

So, from the 1st April customers will be able to choose who they pay for their retail water and wastewater services.

To support the opening of the UK water market, the regulator Ofwat has recently written to all water wholesalers and retailers to confirm that Market Operator Services Limited (MOSL) has been appointed as the official water market operator. Having gained the required support from licensees to function as the market operator.

MOSL’s role is this will be the responsibility of the IT systems that will enable registration, customer switching and settlement between wholesalers and retailers and offer support and advice on water companies’ readiness activities.

To raise the commercial awareness and advantages of an open water market to public and private sector organisations, Water UK, have agreed to fund a national awareness campaign as part of a wide range of communications and PR plans.

With an enormous amount of policy, communications, IT and regulatory work already in place the UK market is ready for the biggest market of its type in the world.

The water regulator Ofwat is also promoting the values of the open market, and believes that all customers should have access to impartial and reliable information, enabling them to feel confident about the market and able to make an informed decision about their choice of water retail services provider.

For over a decade Catalyst has been providing a range of innovative water services and solutions and Catalysts independent approach enables clients to manage their exposure to price risk, while at the same time benefiting from a first-class service.