For the first time, over 1.2 million ‘eligible’ non-household customers in England can choose their water supplier (from 3 April 2017).
The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) collaborated with YPO, Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO), North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO), West Mercia Energy, The Energy Consortium and the Ministry of Defence to bring to market the largest public sector water framework in the UK.
Businesses and ‘eligible’ non-household customers can choose their supplier of water, wastewater and ancillary services. More information can be found on the framework page.
‘Eligible’ customers are non-household premises that pay business rates. For example, schools, NHS trusts and local authorities, as well as many more public sector organisations.
Your water company is responsible for ensuring that eligibility is assessed correctly, however, there are guidance documents and eligibility checkers available for you:
- Ofwat has published full eligibility guidance and supplementary guidance
- The Open Water programme is responsible for delivering the new water market and has an eligibility checker
The benefits of changing supplier
Changing water supplier will enable you to:
- request consolidated billing, electronic billing and enhanced frequencies
- obtain consumption and billing data to a standard requested by you, including self service online and dynamic viewing
- receive financial savings from the supply margin
- receive better customer service, as you have the choice of competing your supply rather than only receiving customer service from your local supplier
- rationalise your supplier base to 1 if you have sites in multiple regions, consequently streamlining your billing and administration
Accessing the framework
The framework went live in April 2017 and will run for 3 years, with the option to extend for a further 12 months.
Customer call-off contracts can take place any time during the framework period and be let for up to 4 years maximum.
You will need to carry out a further competition under the framework. There is no provision for direct award as it is a new market. Further competition criteria is available within the framework and guidance has been published.
You can access the full range of water supply and sewerage services that you currently receive from your water supplier(s). Additional services associated with water, including water efficiency are also available. The list of services includes, but is not limited to:
Water supply and sewerage services
- water supply including emergency provisions
- sewerage services including wastewater, trade effluent, roads and property drainage
- customer service
- automated meter reading goods and services
- water audit
- water footprint
- leak detection and repair
- cost/spend recovery
- bill validation
- tariff optimisation
- legionella services
Actions to take when you come to buy
Get your site information ready so that you can submit this when you come to buy.
Here is a simple guide of what you need to get ready in order to switch supplier:
- organisation name
- address including postcode
- annual consumption
- supply point ID (SPID) - this is a unique reference number for your meter (this should start to appear on your water bills. If you do not have this number you can call to ask your current supplier)
- contact name at the premises
- contact phone number at the premises
- unique property reference number
- demand profile (i.e. 24/7, 9-5)
- annual spend
Relationship with retailers and suppliers
You will have a contract directly with your chosen retailer only. They will be responsible for managing all of your water supply and sewerage services, including liaising with the wholesaler on your behalf.
If you have any enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org