Since April 1, 2008, Scottish businesses, public sector, charitable and not-for-profit organisations have been able to choose which firm they purchase their water from, in a similar fashion to other utilities like gas and electricity.
Having more suppliers in the market brings the potential for savings for businesses, including those in the licensed trade; and industry regulator the Water Industry Commission for Scotland claims the introduction of competition to business water rates has brought wider choice and more tailored services while leading to lower prices.
The competitive system allows businesses to purchase their water from one of 13 water suppliers: Clear Business Water; Cobalt Water; Severn Trent Services; Veolia Water; Castle Water; NWG Business; Thames Water Commercial Services; Anglican Water; Commercial Water Solutions; Aimera; Kelda Water Services; United Utilities Scotland; and Business Stream, the commercial arm of Scottish Water.
These firms purchase water and sewerage services from Scottish Water, the public sector firm which wholly owns Scotland’s network of water and sewerage pipes, bundle these services together and offer packages to suit their customers.
But what does this mean for licensees?
Overleaf (pages 32-36) SLTN talks to the water firms servicing Scotland to see what they can do to make life easier for business owners in Scotland’s licensed trade.