Expansion go-ahead for Thames Water
Friday 21 September 2012
The UK's biggest water company ramped up competition today with plans to poach high-use customers from suppliers in other parts of the country.
Thames Water, which currently serves 14 million mainly residential customers in London and parts of the Home Counties, has been granted licences to sell to businesses throughout England, Wales and Scotland.
The water will still come from a company's regional provider but Thames will compete on price and other parts of the offer, such as customer service and fixing leaks.
The entry of the UK's biggest supplier is seen as an important step in making the commercial market more competitive.
It means Thames will for the first time be able to target high-use businesses in England and Wales, such as large supermarkets, breweries and heavy industry, while it will be able to sell to any businesses in Scotland regardless of how much water it uses.
The move comes after the Government last year changed the rules to open up competition to more businesses by allowing those with facilities in England and Wales that use five million litres of water a year to shop around for water. Previously only those that had used 50 million litres a year were eligible.
In Scotland, all businesses can already shop around for water in this way.
The Government's plans are expected to see it open up all businesses to competition in this way in 2017, creating a £2.5 billion nationwide market.
Piers Clark, director of the newly-formed Thames Water Commercial Services, said: "Securing these licences marks our official entry into the competitive water retail market.
"Large organisations, like supermarket chains or regional authorities, often have a raft of different water accounts with a raft of different providers and often across many different sites.
"We will offer eligible business customers the simplicity of having one bill, one service provider, one number to call if there's a problem and a range of products and services tailored to their specific needs."
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
iJobs Money & Business
$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer Office...
$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...