To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the benefits the English water retail market has delivered for SMEs; and how many SMEs switched retailers in (1) 2018, and (2) 2019.
23 December 2020
Since market opening, Ofwat has published annual reports on the business retail market, including with a focus on customer outcomes and benefits delivered to customers, including SME customers – see:
- Business retail market - Open for business - Review of the first year of the market 2017-18
- State of the market Reviewing the second year of the business retail water market
- State of the market 2019-20 Review of the third year of the business retail water market
Its most recent report, on the third year of the market (2019-20) noted that just over half (54%) of small/medium SMEs (10-249 employees), and 58% of micro-businesses (0-9 employees) are aware they can choose their retailer. The majority (91%) of all business customers who had switched retailer or renegotiated a new deal with their existing retailer in the 12 months to spring 2020 reported that they had received some form of benefit as a result of switching or re-negotiating.
Concerning switching rates, around 3.1% of small/medium SMEs (10-249 employees) and 4% of micro-businesses (0-9 employees) switched retailer or renegotiated a new deal with their existing retailer in the 12 months to spring 2020, compared to 6.2% (small/medium SMEs) and 3.6% (micro-businesses) in the 12 months to spring 2019.