Bar operator look set to be first to serve itself in the new retail market

Brewer and bar operator Greene King looks set to be the first customer to take a seat at the central water market table after it applied for a water and sewerage self-supply licence earlier this month.

A consultation document issued by Ofwat following the application sets out that the 1757-location hospitality giant intends to contract Waterscan to perform retailer functions on its behalf. These include “meter reading, central market operating system transactions, wholesaler management, paying water and sewerage charges through the settlement process, and finding further water efficiency savings”. Waterscan will take an agreed fee rather than a retail margin, leaving Greene King paying wholesale prices.

Ofwat reported the brewer believes a self-supply licence will enable it to “build on efficiency works already undertaken, whilst driving cost and consumption control in the next phase of its water management strategy. In addition, it hopes that being an active participant in the market will drive further innovation and provide a direct customer voice in MOSL discussions”. If granted a self supply licence, Greene King will be a market participant and a MOSL member with voting rights and the ability to directly influence the market.

Ofwat is consulting on modifying its standard WSSL conditions for Greene King’s self supply intentions, following the process it set out in a June 2016 consultation.

Read THE WATER REPORT’s interview with Waterscan’s Neil Pendle and Claire Yeates on the company’s facilitated self supply offering.