Ofwat
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Steady start for new water retail market – but more still to do

There have been more than 36,000 switches in the first three months since the launch of the newly competitive water retail market according to data published yesterday by the market operator, MOSL.

Figures also released yesterday by the Consumer Council for Water reveal that during the same period, there were 370 complaints from non-household customers (compared to 232 in the same quarter last year), with billing-related issues remaining the most common cause of complaint.

Commenting on these figures, Ofwat Chief Executive Cathryn Ross said:

“This first set of data is important because it gives us a baseline to monitor against and helps us to identify and address emerging issues.

“It is early days, but we are seeing some encouraging signs with new retailers, new deals, and, crucially, customers saving money and water.

“There have been more than 36,000 switches and around 60 per cent of those have come from low water users – more likely to be SMEs. That is significant, because we want to make sure this market works for all customers, not just the very large companies with specialist procurement divisions.

“In addition to those who have switched, we have heard that many others have agreed new deals with their current retailer.

“More needs to be done however; comparing offers is still not as easy as it needs to be and we have told retailers they must remedy this.

“We will continue to monitor the market closely to make sure it works for all and continue to meet and listen to customers, whose views will shape our work.”

Related information:

For further information: Fintan Hastings Senior Associate – Media Relations, 0121 644 7642, 074 5801 6085 or fintan.hastings@ofwat.gsi.gov.uk

Channel website: http://www.ofwat.gov.uk/

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