Ofwat outlines terms – and £5000 fee – for new water companies and business self-suppliers



Water regulator Ofwat is consulting on the applications process for new water retailers and businesses that want to become their own water suppliers.

The water retail market opens in April 2017. It means all firms in England will be able to choose their own supplier, as they can in Scotland. Ending regional monopolies is expected to create price competition with new suppliers aggressively touting for new customers. It is also expected that many new water retailers will become services companies, bundling in water-efficiency equipment and services into their business models.

To become a retailer or self-supplier, companies must hold a licence. Ofwat has set the application fee at £5,250. The regulator has also decided to make all existing water supply licence holders re-apply. Ofwat said it would be “most surprised” if existing water companies had a problem with that.

The regulator seeks comment on whether the licence application process could be improved and whether the guidance provides sufficient detail. Responses must be submitted by 26 February. Ofwat will also run a workshop in London on Monday 8 February as part of the consultation. It is expected that new market entrants will be able to apply for a supply licence in April 2016.

See the document here.

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