From 1st April 2017, non-household water customers will be able to choose their water supplier. To be able to conduct business in the new competitive landscape, water companies will need to split out their wholesale and retail operations in order for their wholesale business to be able to transact with their own retail arms and new entrants to the market. It is not essential for water companies to split into two new legal entities but the regulator has suggested that to do so will make it easier to operate in the deregulated market.
In preparation for market opening water companies must act now. Those that wait are in danger of missing the deadlines for compliance and the regulator, OFWAT, is threatening to impose large fines on companies that do not conform on time.
Lessons can be learned from the Scottish water market as competition to non-household water customers successfully came into effect in 2008. Having worked closely with the Central Market Agency (CMA) throughout water deregulation, Bridgeall has unique insights into the challenges that lie ahead for water companies in England. In particular, water companies need to be aware of the potential exposure to performance standards breaches which will result in fines and also the impact that data quality will have on both wholesale and retail processes.
Jeremy Atkinson, Chief Executive of the Central Market Agency (CMA) said “I have been enormously impressed by Bridgeall’s ability to solve complex problems and find solutions that work. This can only be done through an instinctive feel for the utilities market and I often find that the Bridgeall team have anticipated issues before they become a problem – a priceless quality in a contractor”.
Bridgeall, who developed and continue to support the Central Systems that underpin the competitive water market in Scotland, are offering a free organisational planning simulation session using their Trevi insights tool. This will help give water companies the insight they need to plan ahead and forecast accordingly. Book your appointment today.