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  • FIRST POST
    • koru
    • By koru 1st Jun 17, 11:47 AM
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    koru
    Switching water supplier
    • #1
    • 1st Jun 17, 11:47 AM
    Switching water supplier 1st Jun 17 at 11:47 AM
    Apparently from 1 April 2017, small businesses and charities can choose their supplier of water and wastewater services. Has anyone looked into switching and whether it saves any money? Any tips?
    koru
Page 1
    • koru
    • By koru 1st Jun 17, 12:59 PM
    • 1,276 Posts
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    koru
    • #2
    • 1st Jun 17, 12:59 PM
    • #2
    • 1st Jun 17, 12:59 PM
    There are some useful comparisons in the tables here:
    https://www.businesselectricityprices.org.uk/water-prices/

    We are with Affinity for water supply, which is not in the table, but we pay less than any of the ten water companies listed, so I'm happy. And we are with Thames for wastewater, which is also cheap.

    In other regions, looks like it would be good to switch.
    Last edited by koru; 01-06-2017 at 2:12 PM.
    koru
    • koru
    • By koru 1st Jun 17, 1:24 PM
    • 1,276 Posts
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    koru
    • #3
    • 1st Jun 17, 1:24 PM
    • #3
    • 1st Jun 17, 1:24 PM
    Turns out Thames has sold us to Castle Water, but their wastewater charges seem to be even lower than Thames:
    https://www.castlewater.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Scheme-of-Charges-Thames-1.pdf
    koru
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 2nd Jun 17, 2:40 AM
    • 37,823 Posts
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    Savvy_Sue
    • #4
    • 2nd Jun 17, 2:40 AM
    • #4
    • 2nd Jun 17, 2:40 AM
    I've been contacted by one of the companies which does the running around for you, and they reckon we can save £5 per year. Not sure we will bother ...
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 2 shawls, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 1 seaman's hat ...
    Current projects: 1 shawl, another seaman's hat
    • koru
    • By koru 2nd Jun 17, 9:32 AM
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    koru
    • #5
    • 2nd Jun 17, 9:32 AM
    • #5
    • 2nd Jun 17, 9:32 AM
    Castle are offering £50 for a switch.

    Affinity are offering a £25 annual reduction if existing water customers shift their waste water contract to Affinity. I'm waiting for them to tell me their tariff (to compare with Castle).
    koru
    • AbbieCadabra
    • By AbbieCadabra 2nd Jun 17, 11:59 AM
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    AbbieCadabra
    • #6
    • 2nd Jun 17, 11:59 AM
    • #6
    • 2nd Jun 17, 11:59 AM
    I contacted 4 companies over a week ago enquiring about switching to them & asking for tariff info, none have them have even bothered replying as yet!
    • koru
    • By koru 2nd Jun 17, 2:11 PM
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    koru
    • #7
    • 2nd Jun 17, 2:11 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Jun 17, 2:11 PM
    Yes, I get the impression most of them have not really started any serious competition. It took quite a bit of digging to find Castle, who are offering an incentive to switch.

    In most cases, I could not find any tariff info via the menus on their websites, although I had more luck for some of them by doing a google search.

    Judging by the differentials in pricing in the table that I linked, I imagine most of them are just taking a defensive attitude and hoping that they don't lose too much custom. Although maybe the difference in rates just reflects different cost levels in different regions, so they might not reflect the rates that those companies would offer in new regions.

    I found a good summary of the main players here: http://wwtonline.co.uk/features/close-up-who-will-be-the-big-fish-in-the-new-water-retail-market-#.WTFjFTOZNUc
    Last edited by koru; 02-06-2017 at 2:16 PM.
    koru
    • koru
    • By koru 2nd Jun 17, 2:30 PM
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    koru
    • #8
    • 2nd Jun 17, 2:30 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Jun 17, 2:30 PM
    Ah, the £50 incentive for Castle Water is only for two particular areas:
    https://www.castlewater.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/FAQs-50-Cashback-Offer-.pdf

    Those FAQs also say: "Our water tariff will be no different to your current water tariff which is set by Ofwat. Customers in the Thames and Portsmouth area can view specific Scheme of Charges documents in our useful documents section. In other areas of England, tariffs are set as default by Ofwat for each service area and this information can be found on your current water supplier's website."

    If the tariff is set by the regulator, then what's the point of this right to switch? Is it just about small incentives to attract customers?
    koru
    • AbbieCadabra
    • By AbbieCadabra 3rd Jun 17, 4:33 PM
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    AbbieCadabra
    • #9
    • 3rd Jun 17, 4:33 PM
    • #9
    • 3rd Jun 17, 4:33 PM
    I got the info here, few pages of info & eligibility & then there's a link to all the suppliers/retailers with their contact info/website. it refers to getting the best deal/lowering bills/charges so I assumed different tariffs, just like the energy market? but perhaps not based on that info from Castle, the market doesn't seem overly clear at the moment?!
    • koru
    • By koru 4th Jun 17, 11:11 AM
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    • 644 Thanks
    koru
    Perhaps the Offwat tariff is just a cap, so companies can go lower if they wish. Though they will have to purchase the underlying services, just as broadband suppliers have to pay OpenReach for the underlying phone infrastructure. Presumably Offwat sets the tariff for that, too, so the water "retailers" will have to cover these costs.
    koru
    • koru
    • By koru 23rd Jun 17, 4:51 PM
    • 1,276 Posts
    • 644 Thanks
    koru
    I found out a bit more information. I had a quote from a company called Everflow. They gave me a quote for combined water and sewage which is £245, but the interesting thing is that they break it down into £205, which they say is the wholesale price set by the regulator, which they have to pay for these services, plus £40 service charge to cover meter reading, billing and customer service.

    They reckon I'm currently being charged £50 for admin, so they are saving me £10. It looks like switching is unlikely to save much, because any alternative supplier has a fixed cost for the water and sewage. All they can do is shave a bit off the amount to cover admin.

    I'm going to stick with Affinity, as they are offering £25 off per year if I shift waste water to them. That's starting to seem like a good deal.
    koru
    • AbbieCadabra
    • By AbbieCadabra 14th Nov 17, 2:46 PM
    • 1,568 Posts
    • 944 Thanks
    AbbieCadabra
    we've been contacted today by smarter business co.uk who are one of the middle companies that can sort a transfer etc. still checking final details but looks like we could save nearly a third of what we pay to severn trent/water plus by switching to everflow, purely surface water drainage for our premises as water is billed to the landlord.

    water plus have been the worst company i've ever had the pleasure of dealing with, so i'll be switching even if we only saved £10! i have no idea how they've messed up our billing so badly since April when they took over, it's the simplest account possible with 6 monthly bills based on bands for site area, never had any issues with STW in all the years that they billed us. complete nightmare to deal with & they take 2-4 weeks to even reply to simple queries, incorrectly. you can't get through on the phone either.

    edit: callback today, info yesterday was incorrect, no saving at all with everflow so got to stay with the dreadful water-plus for now....
    Last edited by AbbieCadabra; 15-11-2017 at 4:15 PM.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 18th Nov 17, 4:40 PM
    • 37,823 Posts
    • 34,215 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    If it doesn't actually cost to switch, is it not worth switching to a different company, even for no cost savings? Just to be rid of the awful service ...
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 2 shawls, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 1 seaman's hat ...
    Current projects: 1 shawl, another seaman's hat
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