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Market opening – what does it mean for small businesses?
Every year, the lead up to financial year end is an exceptionally busy time for all businesses. For those working within the water industry, April this year marked something a little bit more special.
On 1 April 2017, the English non-household water market (business water market to you and me) was opened up to competition. It marked the end of years of preparation across the industry, as we got ready for the largest deregulated water market in the world. The Scottish non-household water market opened nine years ago and we expect many of the benefits enjoyed by companies in Scotland to be replicated in England.
So, if you’re a business owner or responsible for utilities procurement, what does an open water market mean to you?
Basically, it means you can switch your business water retailer, in the same way you can switch your telecoms or energy provider. You may not think a great deal about your water bills, but you could be paying too much, or perhaps you’re not getting a particularly good service. You should ask yourself, am I getting the service I deserve from my business water retailer?
It’s worth considering all the extras that you could benefit from, as a result of switching. Does your retailer offer online account management, e-billing, smart metering, or consolidated bills? Will they alert you if they notice an increase in your usage, that could be a leak on your site? Will they help you find that leak and fix it? A discounted price is not the only way to save money in this newly opened market. In fact, this approach may actually result in additional costs to your business, through low quality customer service and technical expertise. So I would suggest, don’t be swayed by short term price discounts, they may not last.
If you’re a small business owner, you could bundle your water and other utilities into one simple package with us and even benefit from fixed energy prices for up to five years. Electricity and gas prices are exceptionally volatile, so the chance to have some stability in these uncertain times is a real opportunity.
Online account management systems like our MyWater portal, mean you can have 24 hour access to important information and can contact our team without needing to pick up the phone. The ability to pay your bills by direct debit, allows you to easily budget your utility payments over the course of a year.
For any business, an unidentified leak could result in high costs and unwelcome interruptions to productivity. You don’t have to be a huge commercial business to receive proactive account management from AWB. We check every single customer’s meter read and compare it to their previous usage. If there is a spike in your water usage, we’ll be in touch right away – that could save you a lot of money and the shock of an unexpectedly high bill. That’s amazing service at no extra cost!
It might be that you would benefit from a water efficiency audit to assess domestic water use on site, such as toilets, taps, kitchens and cleaning facilities. Or maybe the best solution is for us to investigate potential leakage through our leakage find and fix service. Either way, we’ll identify the cause of the high usage and highlight the areas where savings can be made. We’ll even help you understand what those savings mean for you, in financial and volumetric terms.
So it’s clear that value added services should be considered when deciding on your business water retailer, don’t just look for the cheapest price, but look for a retailer that is passionate and knowledgeable about saving you money over the long term. Anglian Water Business is the retailer that will help you do more with less and save you money in the long term. So why not have a look around our website for more information, or call us on 03450 704158 and switch to us.