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What Drives Water Prices?


Having a consistent water flow is essential for any business.

Water undergoes a lengthy process before it reaches your taps. There are a number of factors that make up your businesses water costs.

A breakdown of the Open Water Market

The deregulation of the commercial water market in England in April 2017 meant that 1.2 million organisations could choose who supplied their water services. Set up by the UK Government, The Open Market programme is led by Ofwat, MOSL and Defra.

Deregulation has provided a wealth of benefits:

  • It gives businesses the freedom to negotiate the best water plan for them.
  • Businesses have more choice over their water retailers, allowing them to choose based on reputation and customer service.
  • Provides more added value services including water efficiency advice for businesses so they can understand how to reduce their water bills.
  • Some energy suppliers now offer all three utilities, which allows businesses to streamline their utilities to one supplier. Our multi-fuel plans are available to help businesses switch and save.

Cost of your business water

The Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) is the regulatory body responsible for the regulation of privatised water and sewerage in England and Wales.

The water that is supplied to your business is the same water that is supplied to your household. The difference as a business owner is that you’ll be able to choose where you purchase your water services from, which will vary depending on the size and usage.

The total cost of water charges for your business primarily falls into two categories.

You will either be charged for the water you used and a set charge, provided you have a meter or a set amount, which is based on the value of your property.

Wholesalers provide water and wastewater services to retailers. In turn, retailers sell these services onto business customers. Retailers compete to offer the best deal to customers, who then choose which retailer they would like to buy services from.

Why your yearly water prices are different

If you’ve noticed that the prices of your water bill change from year to year, it’s because water and sewerage charges are adjusted yearly.

Every year in April, water wholesalers change their water charges. The level of changes are dependent on policies of the water company you deal with.

Each wholesaler will set the prices they’ll charge for water and wastewater. These prices are then checked and agreed by water regulator Ofwat. These charges are usually then made visible on a document called Scheme of Charges, Wholesale Tariff, Charges Scheme or something of a similar name. These wholesaler price changes are then passed onto the water retailers and businesses as the end user.

It’s worth mentioning that wholesaler charges are dependent on where in the country your business is located. This gets slightly more complicated if you own a chain of businesses or have more than one property across different wholesale areas.

The prices you then see on your bills and pay will end up varying depending on each site.

How are business water bills calculated?

For water services- If your business is on a meter, you pay the volumetric rate for water and a fixed standing charge that covers your billing and general customer service costs.

Your charges will vary if your business is unmetered. Then you’ll have to pay a standing charge as well as a charged based on the value of your property.

For sewage services- Sewage charges cover the collection, treatment and disposing of sewage. You’ll pay on a volumetric rate if your business is metered and based on the value of your property (Rateable Value) if unmetered.

The money that is charged for sewerage services covers the cost of treatment and collection of different types of wastewater that include:

  • Surface water
  • Foul sewage
  • Trade effluent
  • Highways drainage

Foul sewage and trade effluent costs are dependent on the volume produced and the strength of the trade effluent.

Highways and surface water drainage is calculated differently depending on your water supplier.

Plans for your water prices

At, Yü Energy we offer simple, all inclusive fixed prices for your business water.

The Cost Plus Water Plan is a simple, transparent business water plan that reflects the current wholesale price plus a fixed service fee.

It is available to businesses in England, supplied with water (annual usage under 5,000 cubic metres) and sewerage services from an existing water retail company. The Cost Plus Water plan is also available to businesses in Wales, who use more than 50,000 cubic metres per year (only the water supply can be switched).

How to switch

Many business owners still aren’t aware that they’re able to switch. You can save both time and money by switching your water supply.

Switching is easy if you’re a business in England, supplied with water and sewerage services from an existing water retail company; if you’re a business in Wales that uses more than 50,000 cubic metres per year you can also switch to Yü Energy.

We know that switching suppliers can seem stressful and time consuming, but our dedicated team make the process as smooth as possible.

Just visit our switching service page for more information or call us on 0115 697 1168 for more information.

Let's talk about about saving energy

There’s one more thing businesses can do to save on energy bills, and that’s to switch to the right supplier.

At Yü Energy, we’ve helped lots of companies like yours cut their bills and maximise energy efficiency.

You can save on water as well as gas and electricity with our Multi-Fuel Plan. We're full of energy-saving ideas too (even more than there's room for here!).

You can save on water as well as gas and electricity with our Multi-Fuel Plan. We're full of energy-saving ideas too (even more than there's room for here!).

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