Choose a water supplier for your business

Published on 07/02/2017

ESPO is collaborating with YPO, Crown Commercial Service (CCS), North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO), West Mercia Energy, The Energy Consortium and the Ministry of Defence to bring to market the largest public sector water framework agreement in the UK.
Businesses and ‘eligible’ non-household customers will be able to choose their supplier of water, wastewater and ancillary services.
 

Eligible customers

‘Eligible’ customers are non-household premises that pay business rates.

Your water company is responsible for ensuring that eligibility is assessed correctly, however, there are guidance documents and eligibility checkers available for you:
 


The benefits of changing supplier

Following the changes to the water market, you will be able to:
 
  • request consolidated billing, electronic billing and enhanced frequencies
  • obtain consumption and billing data to a standard requested by you, including self service online and dynamic viewing
  • receive financial savings from the supply margin
  • receive better customer service, as you will have the choice of competing your supply rather than only receiving customer service from your local supplier
  • rationalise your supplier base to one if you have sites in multiple regions, consequently streamlining your billing and administration


Accessing the framework

The framework will be live and available for the opening of the market in April 2017.
The framework agreement will run for 3 years, with the option to extend for a further 12 months.
Customer call-off contracts can take place any time during the framework period and be let for up to 4 years maximum.
You will need to carry out a further competition under the framework, once it is live. There is no provision for direct award as it is a new market. Further competition criteria will be available within the framework agreement and guidance will be published in due course to support you.
 


Available services

You will be able access the full range of water supply and sewerage services that you currently receive from your water supplier(s). Additional services associated with water, including water efficiency, will also be available. The list of services includes, but is not limited to:


Water supply and sewerage services
  • water supply including emergency provisions
  • sewerage services including wastewater, trade effluent, roads and property drainage
  • metering
  • billing
  • data
  • customer service
Ancillary services
  • automated meter reading goods and services
  • water audit
  • water footprint
  • leak detection and repair
  • cost/spend recovery
  • bill validation
  • benchmarking
  • tariff optimisation
  • legionella services


Preparing before April 2017

You should start to get your site information ready so that you can submit this when you come to buy.
There are activities that you can do to prepare for the changes ahead for switching. Further information will be shared shortly, but in the meantime a simple guide of what you will need to get ready is:

Essential:
  • organisation name
  • address including postcode
  • annual consumption
  • supply point ID (SPID) - this is a unique reference number for your meter (this should start to appear on your water bills. If you do not have this number you can call to ask your current supplier)
  • contact name at the premises
  • contact phone number at the premises
Desirable:
  • unique property reference number
  • demand profile (i.e. 24/7, 9-5)
  • annual spend


Number of suppliers

The framework agreement is open to any supplier with a retailer water supply and sewerage licence, and also any supplier who provides water related additional services. There are currently 15 suppliers (as of 28 November 2016) who have been granted a retailer licence.
Additional service providers are likely to exceed this number as there are many small and medium-sized enterprises able to provide additional services.


Relationship with retailers and suppliers

You will have a contract directly with your chosen retailer only. They will be responsible for managing all of your water supply and sewerage services, including liaising with the wholesaler on your behalf.
 
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Latest news: This collaborative project is a finalist in the National GO Excellence in Public Procurement Awards 2017/08 - click here to find out more.

 If you would like more information about this framework, please contact energy@espo.org
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Working in partnership with

ERA 2017
NASBM
Youth Sport Trust
 
Feefo 2017
LACA
BESA