The non-household connections retail market
All non-household water customers, including shops, factories, offices, hotels, warehouses, schools and charities can now choose who they buy their water and wastewater services from.
How does this affect developers?
This affects developers in two ways. Building water is considered to be a non-household connection under the changes. This means you’ll need to appoint a retailer to buy any water used while constructing your development.
If you don’t appoint a retailer this will eventually be done on Ofwat’s behalf by the Market Operator, which provides the background systems and processes behind the changes. All non-household properties you build will need to have a retailer appointed for their water and sewerage services and it doesn’t even need to be the same retailer for both connections.
Finding a retailer
You'll need to appoint a retailer yourself and we’ll remind you during the process. If you don’t appoint one, a retailer will be randomly chosen by the Market Operator. This could mean you’ll have different retailers randomly assigned to each non-household property on a site.
Like many other utility sectors, water retailers offer a range of different services, which may include different charging rates for water and wastewater services, and consolidated billing for multiple sites.
What processes are affected?
We don't offer retail non-household services so we won't be responsible for billing or other account management services for non-household properties or registered meters for building water. These will be handled by your appointed retailer.
You’ll continue to deal with our Developer Services team and the range of services we provide remains unaffected, as are those offered by self-lay providers.
The following services will not be affected:
- Pre-development enquiries
- Budget estimates
- Laying new mains and sewers
- Water Regulations inspections
- Installing meters
You can learn more about appointing a retailer for a new connection in our guidance.