New Utilitywise survey shows ignorance of upcoming water deregulation among UK business

A new survey, commissioned by utility management consultancy Utilitywise, has found that majority of the businesses in England, UK is not aware of the forthcoming deregulation of the local water market to be effective from April next year.

The survey, which was conducted by Edelman Intelligence, has found that only one in four businesses were feeling ‘informed’ about the possible impact of the new water legislation on their business.

Only 20% of the small businesses surveyed felt informed about the water deregulation issue.

Furthermore, one in three businesses in England believe that their business has access to enough information on the impacts of deregulation. 

However, of those who are informed about water deregulation, 59% of English businesses say that they are likely to switch compared to 49% of unaware businesses.

The survey also found that most of the businesses were ignorant of the potential benefits of deregulation, while only four in ten businesses think that the customer service will be better with the implementation of water deregulation. 

Only half of businesses surveyed noted that value for money would be better. 

Utilitywise CEO Brendan Flattery said: “From next year in England, all companies – small family businesses as well as large companies – will be able to benefit from deregulation by shopping around for the cheapest deal in a similar way to finding an energy provider. 

“We’re calling for greater education about water market deregulation to ensure that businesses of all sizes don’t miss out. For our part, we’re launching a free helpline and website to help businesses become informed about the benefits that water deregulation will bring.

“Most importantly, the opening of the water market enables Utilitywise to offer our customers a full energy and water utility management plan which can deliver lower bills, better value for money, improved customer service as well as water and energy savings.”

A total of 453 business decision makers were interviewed during the survey, which was conducted between 13 to 20 October this year.

Image: Infographic of the survey. Photo: courtesy of Utilitywise PLC.