Retail competition

Since privatisation in 1989, the water industry has been a regulated regional monopoly. In 2014, the Water Act set out the framework for market reform with the aim of opening up the non-household market for competition. The aim is to make it easier for non-domestic customers to switch suppliers and for new companies to enter the market.

Our team of water industry specialists are supporting companies through this transition to a more competitive market. We have helped water companies and potential new entrants think through the implications of retail competition and develop their strategy.

Recent work
A lot of our recent work in this area has been in supporting water companies with interpreting the market architecture plans and then planning, designing and delivering the changes to be ready to operate in a competitive non-household market either as a retailer or wholesale services operator. We have also provided assurance and assistance with ensuring compliance ahead of and throughout market opening. 

Further assessments by the regulator Ofwat and the Treasury are underway to determine the costs and benefits of extending retail competition to household customers. Discussions include opportunities to improve debt management and combine retail services across energy, water and potentially other sectors. 

We have been involved in two of the biggest non-household programmes in the UK and have a detailed insight on the challenges of maintaining compliance for both retailers and wholesalers, and on optimising margin in the new market. 

Contact: Back to Water