Businesses Urged to Get Switch Savvy as One Year Countdown to Water Competition Begins

Business Stream launches ‘Switch Fit Guide’ as organisations in England prepare for non-domestic market reform

01 April 2016 Reading time: 4 minutes

With just one year to go until the water market opens for competition, Business Stream has launched a practical guide to help businesses in England make the most of the change.

From 1 April 2017 all businesses and public bodies in England will be able to choose their water supplier, an option only currently available to the largest users. Competition will encourage water suppliers to offer more benefits to customers, which include reduced costs, improved service levels and lower management overheads.

Business Stream, Scotland’s largest non-domestic supplier of water and wastewater services, has launched its Switch Fit Guide to advise organisations on how to secure the financial, efficiency and environmental benefits that will be possible from April.

Since the market opened in Scotland in 2008, businesses and public sector organisations north of the border have saved at least £133m in discounts and efficiencies, 24 billion litres of water and 42,000 tonnes of carbon.

The company’s five point checklist urges organisations to carry out some simple but important steps in order to prepare and benefit from the changes.  This includes:

  1. Understand your current water usage. This should be your first step and can be done easily by looking over previous bills.  This will outline water usage, wastewater production and how much it is costing.  This information will help you to secure the best possible supply and service contracts for your organisation.
  2. Plan Ahead. Consider how changes to your organisation, such as expansion, relocation or peaks and troughs in activity may impact your water use.
  3. Understand your trade effluent arrangements. Make sure you’re aware of your trade effluent arrangements and whether you have or need effluent consents put in place.
  4. Consider what you want from a supplier. The relationship you have with your supplier is crucial to successful water and wastewater management. The opening of the market is an excellent opportunity to revisit this and consider whether your current supplier is proactively helping you to manage your water and wastewater needs.
  5. Speak to Business Stream. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to benefit from the opening of the water market in 2017 – get in touch with Business Stream if you require further advice or support.
With just a year to go until the new market reforms are introduced in England, now is the time for businesses to assess their current water needs in order to take full advantage of the changes ahead.
Jo Dow Chief Executive, Business Stream

Business Stream has helped Scottish businesses to save more than £133 million in their water bills, and we are looking forward to helping businesses in England deliver savings too. 

“I’d urge organisations to carry out the simple and quick five point plan sooner rather than later to find out how market reform can benefit their business.”

Find out more - Get Switch Fit


For further information contact Stacey Bridges or Rory Brown at Weber Shandwick on 0131 556 6649 or;

Notes to Editors
About Business Stream

Business Stream is the largest operator in the Scottish non-domestic water market. Its most recent profit before tax was £38.3 million from revenue of £364.2 million.

Headquartered in Edinburgh, it also has offices in Glasgow and Manchester, and employs around 250 staff.

Since retail competition was introduced to Scotland in 2008, Business Stream’s customers have benefited from more than £133 million in savings, and a saving of more than 42,000 tonnes of carbon.

The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Scottish Water with its own board and independent management team. It was formed in 2006 with the goal of providing a first class service for business customers on the opening of the competitive market

For more information see, @Business_Stream on Twitter or the company’s profile on LinkedIn.