The English water retail market – the largest of its kind in the world – has been open for 12 months. Clear Business Water Chief Executive Chris Earle speaks to Water.Retail about the challenges and opportunities ahead.
On 1 April 2017, the English Water retail market opened. It’s a change widely regarded as the biggest in the water market since privatisation. It’s also created the biggest open water market of its kind in the world.
12 months in, and there are mixed views from providers, including Clear Business Water, about whether the data is up to scratch, margins are wide enough and the levels of customers switching high enough. In the opinion piece, Chris Earle talks about an interesting first year in the market, for Clear Business Water and other providers, with little true competitive activity among small businesses, which make up the majority of the market.
Clear Business Water calls for fair and competitive market to benefit providers and customers
Chris says that, as an experienced small business utility provider, Clear Business Water understands what customers expect when switching suppliers. “They’re primarily driven by savings, but also expect the same, if not better, service levels.
“But, as retailers in England, there simply isn’t enough margin available to deliver to customer expectations. In stark contrast to Scotland, where the market is really working for retailers and, most importantly, small business customers.”
He calls on Ofwat to create a fair and competitive market in England, so that English small business customers can benefit from more competitive rates.