Government presses button for business retail market to open in April

Environment secretary, Andrea Leadsom yesterday gave the official go-ahead for the business retail water market to open on time on 1 April.

This followed Defra's scrutiny of final letters of assurance from water companies and the other Open Water partners. Leadsom (pictured) said: “Opening the market is an historic milestone and it’s right this government is giving companies the same choice over their water retailer as they currently have for energy and other services.”

In the meantime, work to ready the market continues apace. MOSL will open the pre-switching process on Monday so that customers who have already decided on a retailer can be registered with it from day one. On Wednesday, all wholesalers, retailers and MOSL will sign the Market Arrangements Code (MAC) Framework Agreement – the contract under which all will accede to the MAC and under which the MAC becomes binding and enforceable.

Open Water will continue its customer engagement work, both online and at regional workshops. Following the recent London and Bath meetings, customer events are scheduled for Birmingham on 15 March and Leeds on 21st March.

  • Having submitted in October last year a formal application to exit the non household retail market on its opening on 1 April this year, Severn Trent has decided to postpone its exit until 1 June. The company indicated that the delay was made necessary by commitments related to the recent acquisition of Dee Valley Water. On exit, Severn Trent will transfer its business customers to its joint venture with United Utilities, Water Plus.