Author: Joanne Merry, Technical Director
The water market de-regulated in England on 1st April 2017 to remove barriers to competition and deliver a resilient water supply network. It followed in the footsteps of Scotland, which became the first country in the world to deregulate its water market for non-domestic customers back in 2008. Since then, Scotland has seen significant improvements in the water market, including efficiency and customer service. However for England, deregulation hasn’t yet driven the anticipated improvements in customer service.
Latest research from Ofwat saw a drop in the overall average industry score for customer satisfaction for the year 2018-19, with Thames Water recording the lowest overall satisfaction score and subsequently being fined by Ofwat.
The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) also warned that complaints from businesses have been on the rise ever since the English market opened for business, with some retailers still failing on the basics. Figures realised this month by the watchdog revealed it handled 931 complaints from businesses during the first three months of 2019/20.
Thames Water has since announced that it is introducing an industry-leading billing and account management system to help improve its service to consumers. We are hoping that all water suppliers follow suit as in our opinion the lack of account management within the water industry is a major cause of issues for businesses, particularly those with large portfolios.
Carbonxgen will feed into consultations and work with the water industry to drive improvements and efficiencies.