It’s important to know who’s who in water.
For business customers in England, everything changes on 1st April 2017.
England’s new open water market gives business customers the power to choose who provides both their water and wastewater services. It also makes it possible to consolidate accounts for multiple sites across both England and Scotland with a trusted provider; saving businesses valuable time and helping to cut costs. Open Water is a valuable opportunity – so it’s more important than ever before to be informed about water.
Read more about Open Water on our Insights page.
The UK water industry is regulated by a number of different bodies, each with specific responsibility.
Regulators in the UK water industry
The regulators shown below oversee the activities of water companies in England, Wales and Scotland. Click on the links for more information and to visit their websites.
Ofwat is the economic regulator of the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales. It strives to provide consumers with value for money and establish limits on how much individual water companies charge customers.
From April 2017, non-household water customers in England will be able to choose their retailer for the first time. It’s called the ‘Open Water’ programme and is led by the Department for Food, the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra), and Ofwat. MOSL is responsible for delivering the core IT systems that will enable registration, customer switching and settlement between wholesalers and retailers.
All water companies in England and Wales are regulated by the DWI, who assess the safety and standards of our drinking water. DWI have the authority to issue a requirement for a water company to implement schemes to improve water quality, and monitor performance.
The Environment Agency is concerned with the quality of fresh surface and underground water and aims to reduce the threat of contamination. They are responsible for issuing abstraction licences to water companies in England.
The Water Industry Commission for Scotland promotes the interests of water and sewerage customers in Scotland by making sure that they receive a high-quality service and value for money. Their key objectives are fair prices, facilitating competition and monitoring performance.
The Central Market Agency was set up to administer the new market. It registers who is the licensed supplier of each business customer in Scotland and calculates the money owed by each supplier to Scottish Water for wholesale services.
Natural Resources Wales is the principal adviser to the Welsh Government, and adviser to industry and the wider public and voluntary sector, and communicator about issues relating to the environment and its natural resources in Wales. It is responsible for protecting people and the environment including marine, forest and waste industries, and prosecuting those who breach their regulations.