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Information for retailers on retail competition
The Government is introducing changes to the provision of water retail services in England.
If you are a non-household customer and buy water and wastewater services for a business, charity, public sector or not-for-profit organisation, from April 2017 you will be able to choose which supplier you buy your water and wastewater services from. New retailers will be encouraged to enter the water sector and compete with existing water companies to provide new retail services for water and wastewater customers which may stimulate a more active, efficient and customer-focused market.
To enable a fully functioning competitive market which creates real customer choice and encourages the market to evolve, the Government has introduced legislation which allows existing water companies to withdraw (exit) from the new non-household retail market and to transfer their customers to an alternative retailer on the same terms and conditions as now. Yorkshire Water has decided to exit the market and will in April 2017 transfer its non-household customers to Three Sixty Water, a sister company who holds a retail water and sewerage licence.
To learn how these changes to the competitive market could help you get a better deal, better service, save money or save water, speak to us or visit the industry’s competition information portal here, or to learn more about retail exit, take a look at our answers to the frequently asked questions below.
In April 2017, changes introduced by the Government will see competition in the non-household water retail market being extended to allow all non-household customers (businesses, charities, public sector and not for profit organisations) to be able to choose the retailer for their water and waste water services. These competitive retail activities include meter-reading, billing, payment handling, water efficiency advice and dealing with customer contacts.
As part of our preparations for market opening, Yorkshire Water recently announced that when the market opens in April 2017 we intend to transfer responsibility for all our non-household retail customers to our recently formed sister company Three Sixty Water Limited who will be dedicated to serving business customers. We submitted a formal application to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the 31st October 2016 requesting approval to exit the market on the 3rd April 2017, and expect approval of the application during December.
All customers will continue to receive their water and wastewater services as usual during this period; however, we will be contacting all affected customers over the coming months to let them know more about the changes, the options open to them and where to obtain further information.
This change applies to non-household (business) customers only; household customers will continue to receive their retail services from Yorkshire Water.
For further information on the transfer to Three Sixty please see our press release and click here to see the answers to the frequently asked questions about retail competition and exit. If you would like more information about Three Sixty please visit their website.
If you would like more information on market opening, eligibility and how to switch your retailer please visit the Open Water website which has been set up by Defra, Ofwat and the Market Operator to provide independent information for customers and stakeholders.
We recently announced that when the new retail market opens in April next year, we will transfer all of our non-household retail customers to our recently formed sister company Three Sixty.Read more...
If you are a business customer, from April 2017 you will have the option of staying with your existing, or choosing an alternative retail water supplier. If you’ve switched, the new retailer would be responsible for all the customer facing retail activities you currently receive from Yorkshire Water, which includes billing, payment handling, meter reading, provision of water efficiency advice and dealing with customer contacts.
Retail services are all the customer facing activities you currently receive from Yorkshire Water which includes; meter reading, billing, payment handling, water efficiency advice and dealing with customer contacts.
The changes only apply to non-household premises. If your premises are used for business and you pay or are exempted from business rates, you will be eligible to be part of the competitive water retail market. If your premises are mixed use, but the primary use is for business purposes or the household use of the premises depends on the non-household activity your premises are very likely to be eligible to be in the market. If you are eligible to take part in the new market, we will contact you directly with more information over the next two to three months.
Yorkshire water will continue to be responsible for your wholesale services which include the collection, treatment and distribution of water to your premises and the subsequent collection, treatment and disposal of wastewater from them. If you experience a potential public health issue (e.g. taste, odour or discolouration of your water, or sewer flooding) please continue to contact Yorkshire Water directly who will investigate and manage the problem.
Currently, Yorkshire Water is responsible for the collection, treatment and distribution of water to your premises and the subsequent collection, treatment and disposal of wastewater from those premises; known as wholesale services. Yorkshire Water also provides retail services (meter reading, billing, payment handling and customer contact) to households and businesses as well. Retail exit is a legal process introduced by the Government that allows any water company to leave the non-household retail market and transfer their customers to a licensed water retailer. This enables customers to be served by a company that specialises in providing water retail services for their business, and allows customers access to the full range of benefits from the competitive market.
Yorkshire Water is only allowed to serve customers whose premises are located in Yorkshire. Because many of our customers also have premises outside of Yorkshire, we've decided to transfer our customers to a licensed retailer so customers can benefit from the experience of a dedicated specialist retailer. Multi-site customers will also be able to supply all their nationwide premises through just one water retailer focussed on providing dedicated business retail services. This in turn will allow Yorkshire Water to focus on our household customers, and ensuring that all customers in the Yorkshire region continue to receive great wholesale water and wastewater services from us
Initially there will be no change - your retail services will continue to be provided by Yorkshire Water until April 2017. From April 2017 you will receive your retail services from our sister company Three Sixty, who are a dedicated retailer for business customers. In the meantime, you will start to see communications from both Yorkshire Water and Three Sixty, keeping you updated and letting you know what is happening. Your physical water and wastewater services will continue being supplied by Yorkshire Water.
We are currently working on putting arrangements in place to ensure a seamless transfer and getting ready for the opening of the retail market. You may start to see some changes to our website and you'll receive communications with more information in the coming months.
You don't need to do anything at the moment. Next year you will need to change the bank details of who you pay your water bill to, but both Yorkshire Water and Three Sixty will write to you with details of the change in plenty of time.
Your terms and conditions will be the same with Three Sixty as they would be with Yorkshire Water. This means that if you have any special arrangements with Yorkshire Water, they will move across with you to your new retailer.
The transfer will take effect from 3rd April 2017, however you will start hearing from us and your new retailer at various points leading up to that date.
Yes. At the moment customers who use more than 5 Ml a year can switch retailer today for their water services and this will not change. From 3rd April 2017 all business customers regardless of usage volume will be able to switch retailer for both water and wastewater. The transfer to Three Sixty will not prevent your ability to switch to another retailer if you choose.
No, household customers will continue to have their retail services provided by Yorkshire Water. Only customers in eligible business premises will be transferred to Three Sixty and will become part of the retail market.
Three Sixty are born out of Yorkshire Water and have been created to meet the needs of businesses and the new water retail market. They are committed to putting customer service at the heart of everything they do and will ensure Yorkshire Water Business customers will continue to receive the levels of service they expect.
If you have any questions about retail exit and what it means to you and your business you can contact your Account Manager, if you have been assigned one, or call us on 0345 737 2062.
Whatever the change in legislation, it's important to remember that we're always here to help businesses get the most from their water and sewerage services and save a little money too. Here are a few examples of how we could help your business:
We're saving businesses 7.5 million litres of water a day and nearly £7 million a year.
There are a number of ways we can help your business save water, whether it's by conducting a water audit to show where you could reduce water and effluent costs or by pointing you in the right direction to buy and install water saving devices like infra red urinals or electronic taps.
We can analyse the water and waste water bills and tariffs for your site and look at historical bills to identify areas where your business could make savings e.g. checking whether you're being charged correctly by your water supplier and telling you about rebates you might be entitled to.
We have a flow monitoring service which can help you to understand your business' water use and identify areas where water is being wasted, for example through leaks or high use.
In winter 2010 many of our customers including businesses, schools and farms encountered problems with frozen and burst pipes as the cold snap spread across Yorkshire. We've recently been helping our business customers so that they will be better prepared if such extreme temperatures hit us again, providing advice on our website , as well as giving out leaflets and posters.
We're investing £3.5 billion between 2010 - 2015, and this will benefit businesses across Yorkshire. We have 1,000 individual suppliers across the region, some of whom employ a large number of people who'll be spending their wages right here in Yorkshire, benefiting other businesses - think of it like a ripple effect.
Until the new competitive market for retail services opens in April 2017, if your business uses more than 5 million litres of water a year, you can choose an alternative retail supplier for your clean water services if you wish.
The new supplier would be responsible for:
• Meter reading.
• Billing and customer services in relation to your water services.
We would continue to manage the water infrastructure and supply your water, but all customer service activities related to your clean water supply would be managed by your new retail supplier. Yorkshire water would continue to manage retail services related to you waste water services.
If your business has a site or sites that consume less than 5 million litres per year, we would continue to supply your full water services for each of these sites. Please note that individual sites' water consumption cannot be combined together.
As the changes only apply to water services, we would continue to provide your full waste water and trade effluent services as normal.
Our network access code provides potential licensees with the necessary information and process requirements to enable them to apply and enter into an access agreement with us.
The code is here for any licensee to download. Potential licensees can use the common contract or our draft wholesale master agreement. Both of these are referred to in our code, with full instructions of how to apply, and both are available to download on the right hand side.
You can also download our Condition R Compliance Code, which provides further details about how we will interact with all licensees, including the licensee within the Kelda Group.
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