Last month was a turning point for the UK in terms of the water market, with the Water Act 2014 receiving Royal Approval by the Queen. Two years after the initial proposals were put forward, it has now been formally agreed by the Queen that the bill will now be an official Act of Parliament.
One of the main benefits will be a change in the way non-domestic water customers can purchase their water supply. From 2017, it will be much easier for water companies to buy and sell from each other, which in turn will enable customers to shop around and switch supplier, providing a more competitive marketplace. The government also estimates this will help the UK economy by potentially adding up to £2.5 billion over the next 30 years.
Pricing and supplier competition are not the only key factors behind the Water Act reforms. Over the past decade, various parts of the UK have experienced significant flood damage. The changes within the Water Act aim to provide a more resilient approach towards flood hazards, as well as look at the affordability and availability of household insurance for those living within high flood risk areas.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said: “We are building a stronger, more competitive economy and our new reforms to the water market will continue to support that long-term plan.
“This new law gives businesses the freedom to switch supplier. This will bring real competition into the market, so businesses can seek out the most competitive deal and save money.”
If you would like further information on how the Water Act reform could benefit you, contact one of our Procurement Team here.
You can read full details on the Water Act 2014 on the DECC website.