Businesses in the North West could save nearly £30 million on their water bills through the competitive water market, which launched on 1 April 2017.
The figure comes from consultancy Utilitywise, which estimates that companies can save around 10 per cent by switching to a new supplier.
Approximately 176,000 businesses in the North West now have direct control over who supplies their water. Nationally, around 22,000 companies have already switched.
As well as direct savings on bills, the competitive water market is also expected to deliver much more proactive support on how to improve water efficiency, such as better water usage data, industry benchmarking and advice.
In Scotland, which has had an open water market since 2008, an estimated £40 million worth of water efficiency savings have been achieved by customers, on top of £52 million in price discounts.
Driving up standards
Andy Poole, specialist water policy advisor for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), commented: “We believe the new water market will bring opportunities for many small businesses to take advantage of the different services and tariffs on offer.
“Competition should drive up services, standards and trust for small business customers. We encourage businesses to examine what they are being offered by their current supplier and compare it with what others are offering. They should look at price, advice and support, innovation and technology, customer service, combined utilities and other additional services.
“There’s no need to rush into a new contract you’re not sure about; see what suits you best before making an informed decision.”
Companies that have multiple sites or operate in high-water usage sectors like manufacturing, healthcare, leisure, education, retail and commercial property are most likely to benefit from switching.