What is Retail Competition and why is it happening?
In 2014, the Government passed legislation to allow non-household (business) customers to choose their water supplier, this became effective from 1st April 2017.
The creation of this new market will allow businesses to switch from their local monopoly water company (the “incumbent water company”) to another water supplier for account management activities. Currently most water supplies are provided by a single “incumbent water company” who is responsible for supplying the water to a customer’s premises.
This is known as the “Wholesale” service, and the customer facing services including billing and handling customer queries etc., are known as the “Retail” service. In this area, Veolia Water projects is responsible for drinking water and the sewerage service.
As a result of this new legislation water and sewerage services to business customers premises will be split into Wholesale services and Retail services. The Retailer will be responsible for providing the customer facing service; they will issue bills and deal with customer contacts, queries and complaints.
This retail activity will be open to competition and customers will have the choice of who they want to provide this service. The legislation also allowed incumbent water companies to “Exit the Market” which means that they would transfer the retail activities to another party, but this would have to be approved by the Secretary of State for the Department of the Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs. The Wholesaler who provides the clean drinking water, or sewerage services will not change. As such, Veolia Water Projects will continue to provide the same high quality services as we do now.
What if I don’t want to be a customer of Veolia Water Projects?
You can move to another retailer.
You have the choice to stay with Veolia Water Projects or switch to another retailer. There are a number of retailers available. A choice of retailers available can be found at www.open-water.org.uk.
Who are business customers?
Customers running a business and non-household organisations.
Business customers, in respect of these changes, are customers running a business and non-household organisations that occupy premises that are not principally a home. Advice on whether or not you are a non-household customer can be found at www.open-water.org.uk.
Will household customers be affected?
No. This change only relates to business and non-household customers.
No. Veolia Water Projects will continue to supply and bill its household customers. This change only relates to business and non-household customers.
Who do I call if there is no water or water quality issues?
You can still contact us directly.
For issues relating to the quality of water, or if you have no water, you can still contact us directly on 03451 482 909. We are still be providing the water and therefore the product remains the same high quality.
For issues relating to your bills you should contact our Retail team. They can be contacted on 0203 567 8174 or at BusinessWater@veolia.com.
What happens if I have a complaint?
Your retailer is responsible for complaints now that the market has opened.
Your retailer is responsible for complaints now that the market has opened. Unresolved complaints at market opening have been passed by us to your retailer to respond to.
If you are still dissatisfied then you can refer your complaint to the Consumer Council for Water who provide a free and impartial complaints handling service. They can be contacted on 0300 034 2222, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or writing to the Consumer Council for Water, 1st Floor, Victoria Square House, Victoria Square, Birmingham B2 4AJ.
How much impact will this have on my business?
There will no significant impact on your business.
Engaging in the new market may provide an opportunity to save water, save money and have different products and services available to you. Find more information at www.open-water.org.uk.
Does this mean I am no longer a customer of Veolia Water Projects?
You remain our customer unless you choose to move.
You remain our customer now that the market has opened but your account will be managed by our Retail team in Dunfermline. They can be contacted on 0203 567 8174 or at BusinessWater@veolia.com.