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Since the water market was deregulated in April this year, just 1.4 per cent of SMEs nationally have switched water supplier, data from MOSL has revealed (which reports to OFWAT & DEFRA). However, 38 per cent of those that have switched water supplier are from London says complementary research by Wheatley Solutions.
Wheatley, the UK’s most experience supplier of software for managing data flows in the utilities sector, polled 500 SMEs nationally in May 2017 and found that London tops the water switching SME poll. The next most active switching region was Yorkshire and the Humber accounting for 15 per cent of all switching activity across England in April.
These two regions combined with the West Midlands and South East regions, accounted for almost three quarters (73 per cent) of all switching activity in the first month of deregulation.
42 per cent of the poll’s respondents remained unaware of the water market’s deregulation.
Source: Wheatley Insights
Simon Murray, water market business manager at Wheatley Solutions said: “The results indicate that the primary driver for SME’s switching is price, which matches customer behaviour in the wider energy sector. 58 per cent of respondents would be willing to change suppliers to someone they had never heard of, if the price was right.
“The survey data also showed that customer service is important for future customer retention, with interest from businesses in alternative tariffing and other value added services that support and encourage efficient usage to deliver sustainable savings, i.e. 47 per cent of SMEs would use recycled water with support and incentives.”