How the water retail market works

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All businesses, charities and public sector organisations (non-household customers) in England, Scotland and Wales can choose their water retailer –similar to electricity, gas and telecoms services. To enable competition, water companies’ activities have been split into retail and wholesale.

Retail explained

Retail services include all customer-facing activities: billing, account-handling (payments, debt management, meter reading), customer queries, as well as water-efficiency advice and tackling customer side leaks.

All our non-household customers were transferred to Castle Water when the competitive market opened. If you’re a non-household customer and you haven’t switched suppliers since, your water retailer will still be Castle Water. To find out more about them or about the services they offer, visit their website.

Wholesale explained

Wholesalers like us are responsible for managing the water and wastewater networks, such as the pipes to and from customers’ property boundaries. This also includes the sourcing, treatment and transporting of water, as well as the collection, treatment and getting rid of wastewater.

We employ field teams to maintain pipes, fix leaks and restore water and wastewater supplies across our networks. For more information about our Wholesale services, please visit our Wholesale site.

Further information

If you want to know more about the water retail market, if you’re eligible to choose your water retailer, or you’re a non-household customers that wants to find a new water retailer, please visit open-water.org.uk