Opening of the Water Market and where Water Direct fits in

Posted on 27 March

From April 1st this year, non-household water customers will be able to choose their water supplier; this change in the market is known as ‘Open Water’.

Many water utilities have split into two, creating a wholesale and a retail arm. Some have decided they will not continue to service non-household customers and there are also new entrants to the water market such as existing energy supply companies who will double as water retailers.

This means that the water market will operate like the current gas and electricity markets.

The existing wholesale companies will still manage the pipework, water supply itself and waste water services while the newly created water retailers will deal with customer service, billing and meter readings. 

What does this mean for non-household customers?

The freedom to choose your water supplier can mean:

  • Reduced costs to you through competition between suppliers.
  • Consolidating all your bills into one, particularly useful if you have multiple sites and currently have a different water supplier at each.  
  • Better customer service with a dedicated person or team to answer your queries.    
  • Additional services such as water saving, smart metering, contingency planning and temporary water supply solutions if you have a problem.

To find out if you’re eligible to switch supplier you can use the Open Water Eligibility Guide.

For help choosing or switching your retailer visit:

How does Water Direct fit in?

Water Direct is neither a wholesaler nor retailer, we are experts in temporary planned and emergency water services and provide nationwide cover, 24/7 every day of the year.

We’ve provided emergency support to the water utility wholesalers for over 20 years and have helped hundreds of thousands of household and business customers maintain continuity of supply. We can help on occasions where your retailer might not be able to provide a solution to a water supply interruption.

Our water contingency planning and emergency water services can help keep your business remain operational in the event of a supply issue.