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Water Companies: Competition

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL11284, tabled on 9 December 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures Ofwat has taken to increase competition in the non-household retail marketplace.

Answered on

23 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.