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Nearly 50% of Scottish SMEs could still be unaware they can switch water supplier

Back in 2008, Scotland became the first country in the world to allow businesses the choice as to which company supplies their water services. 16 licenced providers entered the market upon its opening, and after 8 years of significant awareness raising activity from public and private organisations alike, recent research conducted by Clear Business Water suggests that nearly 50% of Scottish businesses may still be unaware of the choice available to them.

Business Stream, the incumbent supplier, stated that over £100 million has been saved by Scottish businesses during the first 6 years of the open water market, which has been hugely beneficial to the Scottish economy, especially considering the global recession which has played out this time. It is startling however, to consider that, if 47% of Scottish businesses remain unaware of the potential to save money 8 years after the market opening, how much more could have been saved?

 

English market set to open in 2017

The Scottish water market has proved testament to the end benefits to consumers of an open market, enabling competition to drive efficiencies up and prices down. With the English market due to open next year, 1.2 million businesses could benefit from the same positive effects the Scottish market has witnessed, providing a bigger boost to the UK economy as a whole.

Considering the apparent lack of awareness within the SME community 8 years on, however, this does raise the question that, if the English market follows the trends set in the Scotland how much in potential savings could English SMEs miss out on 8 years on from market opening? Well, this number could potentially be billions of pounds, highlighting the importance of awareness raising activities which surround it.

 

Infographic

Water industry infographic 

 

References:

Number of Scottish businesses: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Business/Corporate/KeyFacts

http://www.open-water.org.uk/

UK SME’s: http://www.fsb.org.uk/media-centre/small-business-statistics

Number of SMEs unaware by 2025 is representative of 47% of English market being unaware 8 years after the deregulation of the market. Figure based on research conducted in 2016 showing the Scottish market has been open since 2008 for 8 years and 47% of SMEs are unaware.

Scotland on Tap

Business Stream

 

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