Chris Quinn, commercial water manager at utility management specialist, Orchard Energy, offers his expert advice on negotiating your water contract.
One simple measure to save money on water bills is to see if you’re getting the best deal from your current water supplier. Did you know that from 1 April 2017, retail competition will be introduced in the water market in England, allowing all organisations to switch water supplier for the very first time?
There are 1.2 million potential customers in England who will be looking to switch come April 2017. To avoid delays, it’s worth setting up your contract in advance of that date to ensure you are able to negotiate the best rate possible for your water supply.
Can you imagine if every customer went to the market at the same time? This is why the regulator allows a period of ‘shadow operation’ for businesses to take advantage now.
The water market is heavily regulated which means there’s no drawback to negotiating early and the retail charges won’t change after being set by the industry regulator. It is expected that the regulator will publish these charges in the coming weeks.
Ultimately, if you ignore the switch you’ll be paying too much and will be at risk of losing out on four to five months of potential discounts – even if you may only see a discount of between 4-7%, this can be a valuable saving for any organisation.
Here are five top tips on starting the switching process:
1. Consider your options - it’s the first chance you’ll have to analyse the market, so take advantage of this opportunity. If you’re short of time and worried about missing out on the best tariffs, why not work with an experienced utility broker to handle the process for you?
2. Get your data cleansed by an independent utility specialist before going to the market. With such tight margins available, any discrepancies within your bill have the potential to affect the price you’re able to achieve when you put your business out to tender. An independent broker can carry out historic invoice analysis to find out if you’re being charged correctly.
3. Manage and track your water usage as this can impact on your quote.
4. Become water efficient by investing in automatic meter reading (AMR) and smart metering to control your data.
5. You’re now switch ready! Start negotiating now to ensure you obtain the best contract terms for 1 April 2017.
Don’t delay, get ahead and switch your water supplier now to get the best savings on your water bills.
As a 6C member you will have access to the experienced water team at Orchard Energy who can negotiate your contract on your behalf.
Learn more about becoming a member here or call 0844 581 0844 or email info@6Cenergy.co.uk to speak to a member of the 6C team.