Data and barriers feature in plan to boost business water efficiency

The Retailer Wholesaler Group’s (RWG's) Water Efficiency subgroup is consulting on five headline actions to inform the joint industry action plan it is producing to improve levels of non-household (NHH) customer water efficiency.

The actions are:

  • improve understanding of the nature of NHH water consumption;

  • improve engagement of retailers in the water resource planning process (WRMP24) and business planning;

  • identify and address wider regulatory barriers to NHH water efficiency, including reviewing tariffs, targets, incentives and penalties;

  • consider how unplanned events, specifically related to drought conditions, can be integrated into the RWG Unplanned Events best practice guidelines; and

  • collaborate on the development of campaigns and initiatives to raise the profile of water efficiency through smarter use and better sharing of data.

Chief inclusions for each action

Water consumption:

  • incorporating NHH demand in planning guidance;

  • using NHH data to inform the WRMP;

  • setting up a WRMP24 wholesaler/retailer collaboration group; and

  • encouraging retailer involvement in regional multi sector water resource plans.


  • producing guidance for wholesalers on supporting NHH savings in ways that are compliant with the Competition Act;

  • reviewing the effectiveness of and potential amendments to tariffs, targets, incentives and penalties; and

  • integrating water efficiency in the Market Performance Framework.

Wider regulatory barriers:

  • agreeing a process for retailers and wholesalers to collaborate to encourage NHH customers to reduce water use during drought conditions;

  • providing more advance notice for retailers of events; and

  • providing retailers with information to identify water scarcity areas to enable risk mitigation.

Unplanned events:

exploring the option of a national campaign targeted at NHH users; and

engaging with water efficiency research among business users; and defining the issues that will motivate customers to respond.

Development of campaigns:

  • producing a shared view of ambition;

  • identifying the data requirements;

  • considering how data should be accessed,

  • updated and shared;

  • scoping out an approach to user benchmarking; and

  • agreeing metrics for consumption and savings.

Feedback is welcome until 8 September.