Having spent the best part of 30 years in the water & wastewater industry, I have picked up a wide range of engineering and consulting skills, which were primarily self taught. Working with a number of highly skilled experts in the water industry, the knowledge transfer has contributed to some outstanding water savings results.
The water & wastewater industry is diverse with many facets. It is very often the forgotten utility, with many businesses believing not much can be saved. In my experience, a review of your water & wastewater charges often throws up some very welcome surprises!
During my career in the industry I have produced very significant savings and refunds due to historical billing errors, ranging from £100,000 up to £1.5 million.
Overview of the UK water supply market
April 1st 2017 was the date the water & wastewater market was deregulated enabling none residential customers in England to switch water supplier for a better deal on their water & wastewater charges and reducing their costs.
Engagement has been well below expectations with many customers believing there is little value in switching water supplier as savings are rumoured to be so low it is not worth the effort, or it’s just too complicated.
With all the reports in the media and via the Consumer Council website regarding poor service and water bill errors galore, some customers are playing it safe and staying with their existing water supplier.
So do you stay put with your existing water supplier?
Absolutely not, yes indeed the discounts available in England are low (around 1.5 percent) though much more if any of your sites are in Scotland as the water industry is matured in Scotland as it deregulated over 10 years ago, and with discounts of 18 percent plus it is well worth the effort.
Besides, there are other reasons to switch water supplier, for example:
Your charges may have been incorrectly levied for years, in which case the business will be paying more than it should and therefore if this is the case, and subject to a successful claim, your water bills going forward will be reduced.
You will be entitled to a refund due to historical overcharges and in addition to a switch. Suddenly switching water supplier has just become very interesting!
There are other savings opportunities such as reducing your water consumption through water efficiency or water leak detection or indeed installing your own private water supply or borehole. An audit by a water industry expert has the potential to reveal water savings and refund opportunities.
As a general rule of thumb, average savings are 30 percent and many finance and procurement management realise the value of water when the spotlight is shone on the water and wastewater bills.
ABOUT THE Guest Author:
Graham Mann has 30 years’ experience within the water and wastewater industry.
In both engineering and consultant services and is a renowned water industry expert who heads up the Water Audit Experts – H2O Building Services.