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From 1 April, up to 1.2million businesses and other non-household customers in England can now chose their water and water recycling retailer. 

Retailers entering into the market to sell water and water recycling services to non-household customers, such as businesses, schools, prisons, churches and charities, will provide billing, customer service, and meter reading services to, alongside information and advice on how to save money on their water bill.

Wholesalers, like Anglian Water, will continue to supply the same water and sewerage services through the same pipes, and work closely with all retailers. In anticipation of the changes, Anglian Water has launched a new division to look after water retailers.

Ian Rule, Anglian Water’s Director of Customer Services, said: “This is a really significant change for businesses in England and Wales, now all non domestic customers can choose their water supplier. While we won’t typically deal directly with these businesses anymore, we still need to provide first class service to the retailers who will look after them. We’ve set ourselves up to do just that.”

Anglian Water has invested in making its processes as smooth and straightforward as possible for retailers. For instance, the company’s In Your Area postcode search tool has been upgraded with retailers able to search at individual property level to understand if any of their customers are affected by our operational work. Retailers can also keep tabs on jobs via an email and SMS alert service, and have the facility to add other colleagues or business partners for alerts too.

Ian continued: “We fully support the market opening, and that’s why we’ve worked closely with MOSL, the market operator, from the outset. Our Chief Executive, Peter Simpson has been a MOSL Board member from the beginning, and, as a wholesaler, we’ve set out to develop the best tools to support retailers.”

Eligible customers in England and Scotland will be able to negotiate a better deal with their existing company, or switch companies, for retail services such as billing and metering. Where non-household customers switch, the water they use will still be provided by their current regional wholesale provider.

The new freedom to choose brings a range of potential benefits from retailers, such as lower prices, tailored offerings including water efficiency advice, and bundled packages including other utilities such as energy and telecommunication services.

To find out more about market opening, and to check your eligibility, take a look at: www.open-water.org.uk