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Water: open for business

There is not long left before more than 1.2 million small businesses, charities and public sector bodies in England will be free to choose their water and wastewater supplier.

From April, eligible customers with business premises who pay their water bill directly to a water company in England will be able to switch providers or renegotiate a better deal with their existing supplier.

This freedom to choose the best deal for your business offers a range of benefits, including the possibility of lower bills and collaborative multi-site bills.

Changing supplier means a different company will provide your billing, metering and customer service needs. However, the water you use will still be provided by your current regional water company.

The opening up of the water market to greater competition is set to make England the biggest retail water market in the world.

Open Water is the programme that has been created to deliver this new market. It is jointly managed and governed by the water regulator Ofwat; the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA); and Market Operator Services Limited (MOSL), which manages the customer switching process.

To find out more about market opening, and to check your eligibility, take a look at the official Open Water website.