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Water Companies: Competition

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL15552, tabled on 7 May 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what research they have undertaken to assess the effectiveness of the Scottish non-household retail water market in encouraging switching by SMEs when compared with the English non-household retail water market.

Answered on

20 May 2019

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (a) undertook some analysis of the Scottish SME non-household retail water market during the initial planning stages of opening up the English market; and (b) works closely with Ofwat as they review the English non-household retail market and its operation since opening, including with regard to SMEs.

Ofwat monitors and assesses the non-household retail water market in England on an ongoing basis. It commissioned customer research to gauge directly customers’ experiences of the market, including views on the interactions between the markets in England, Scotland and Wales. This information was published in July 2018 as the Ofwat customer insight survey.

Ofwat’s first annual assessment of the market, Open for Business, also published in July 2018, highlighted a number of areas in which to achieve better outcomes for business customers in England, including SMEs.