How the water retail market works



In April 2017 the water market in England opened for competition. This means that non-household customers no longer have to buy their water and wastewater services from their regional wholesaler. Instead, they can shop around for the best deal.


What does a retailer do?


Retailers play the part of the ‘middle man’ between customers and wholesalers. Their services include meter reading, billing, payments, water efficiency services, and customer support.


What does a wholesaler do?


Wholesalers manage the supply and treatment of water and wastewater. They manage any network issues, conduct work on meters, and deal with emergencies.


Why do we need retailers?


The introduction of competition to the water market has allowed customers to switch suppliers for the best value rates, improved services, and increased water efficiency.

Since retailers are independent from wholesalers, they do not benefit from customers using more water, and can therefore help customers to reduce usage and become more efficient.


At Everflow, we charge customers a fixed retail fee rather than a percentage mark-up of what you use, so we don’t profit if your usage increases. This means we genuinely want to help you to use less water and keep costs down, without having conflicting interests!


How does the open water market work?


The market works in the same way as other open utility markets such as electricity and gas. Retailers buy wholesale services and offer a package to eligible customers (those who class as ‘non-household’: businesses, charities and other public-sector organisations).


Are you a business, charity, or public-sector organisation? You could switch and save!


There are approximately 1.2 million non-household customers in England eligible to switch their retail services, with another 130,000 in Scotland.


If you’re one of them, click here to get a quote from us and see how much you can save. Our customers are saving £536 on average.


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