Expert Advice & Knowhow

How to save a few bob on your water bill

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Here's how you can capitalise on the recent deregulation of the water market

For the first time ever, small businesses are able to choose who supplies their water. Deregulation in England and Wales this week opens up the market to new suppliers and gives businesses the opportunity to save money on their water bills.

Government opens the floodgates to water market competition - The Telegraph

Here’s what you need to do to make the biggest savings.

Understand the basics

Your business’ water supply has always been a commodity which you’ve never needed to fret about. You pay the bills and your taps run with water. That’s all that mattered, until now.

All of a sudden you have the freedom to make an informed decision about who supplies your water. Now you need to understand a bit about the market. To start you off, read Ofwat’s quick guide to water for businesses. They’re the water retail market regulator. They provide neutral, helpful advice and information for the wet behind the ears.

Ask yourself whether you need to switch at all

Just because you can switch, doesn’t mean you should. The chances are you will pocket a bit of extra cash by changing supplier, but don’t just assume this is the case.

If you think you’re paying a reasonable rate and you receive pretty good customer service if ever something goes wrong, then switching might not be worth the hassle. Think carefully about what’s right for your business before you let that ice-wouldn’t-melt-salesperson woo you into signing a contract.

Shop around

You should never switch to the first supplier you speak to. Get a few different quotes to see how they all compare. Research is everything when you’re switching any type of service. Just take your time and remember to read the small print before you jump into bed with a strange new supplier.

The choice of suppliers will vary from region to region, so why not speak to some of the other businesses in your area? If the other traders on the high street are unanimously switching to one supplier, there’s probably a good reason why.

Remember that price isn’t everything

Market deregulation is a great opportunity to save money. New suppliers will be looking to undercut each other in order to sign-up as many newly available customers as possible. But be wary. It might mean low prices for new customers, but a cheap bill isn’t the only factor you need to consider.

If something goes wrong with the water to your business, you want to know that it’s going to get fixed quickly. The standard of customer service a supplier offers is a crucial consideration, no matter what type of business you are. Check out suppliers on customer review sites like TrustPilot before you switch, to see what other people are saying about them.

If in doubt, don’t switch

The fact is, these are unchartered waters for businesses and suppliers alike. If you’re at all nervous about switching, then don’t. Wait for the market to settle a little before you dive into murky waters.