Northumbrian Water and Anglian Water join forces to create new water retailer for business customers called Wave
- Credit: PA
The business arms of two of the region's leading water companies have announced they are joining forces to create a new water and wastewater retailer.
The 50/50 joint venture between Anglian Water Business (AWB) and NWG Business (NWGB), part of Northumbrian Water the parent company to Essex and Suffolk Water, is aimed at businesses and other non-household customers. The new venture will be called Wave.
The deal has been struck in advance of changes that will see the water market open up and allow businesses, charities and public sector organisations in England and Wales to choose their water retailer from the beginning of April this year.
Under the new arrangements the open retail water market will work in a similar way to the other utility markets, such as gas, electricity and telecoms.
Wholesalers will provide water and wastewater services to licensed retailers, who will in turn sell these services to business customers.
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Retailers will compete with each other by offering the best deal and businesses can choose which retailer to buy water and wastewater services from. Large organisations in England and Wales can already choose who they pay for these retail water services and the market in Scotland has been open since 2008.
NWG Business and Anglian Water Business will enter the new market in April as separate entities, and plan to combine to form the new business following clearance from the competition authorities.
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Chief executive at Northumbrian Water Group, Heidi Mottram, said: 'The opening of the market enabling non-household customers to choose their supplier is a significant moment for the industry. We're very excited at the prospect of using our combined strengths to bring a new offering to customers who are able to make a choice for the first time.'
The joint venture will initially create a business with more than a quarter of a million customers and a combined turnover of more than £500m. Services offered by Wave will enable businesses with multi-site premises to receive unified billing for all their sites and be able to manage their account online.
The companies have said their future intention is to become a multi-utility retailer and also provide gas and electricity services in addition to the water and wastewater services initially on offer.
Peter Simpson, chief executive of Anglian Water Group, said the deal 'brings together two culturally similar organisations who both have a passion for great customer service'
He added: 'We've built up distinct expertise serving our respective regions in recent years, and our complementary experiences will come together to offer customers a very competitive service offering.'