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Water Supply: Competition

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL11127, tabled on 7 December 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Ofwat has fulfilled its role as regulator in promoting the entry of new entrant water retailers into the Non-Household Water Retail market.

Answered on

21 December 2020

Ofwat’s role is to promote competition through a well-functioning market where that will further the interests of customers. In furthering this role, since the market has opened the regulator has explored barriers to market entry, for example, credit security arrangements for smaller new entrants. Where appropriate, Ofwat has supported (and on occasions sponsored) market code amendments aimed at promoting new entrants to the market.

Over the past three years, we have seen greater choice for business customers with around twenty retailers operating in England. In addition, a number of larger customers have become licensed to operate as self-suppliers. The self-supply model enables customers to have greater control over their data, and has delivered price and water efficiency savings. In 2019/20, an additional three self-supply licences were granted bringing the total to 12 as at end March 2020.