Government announces domestic market competition

The Government has announced its policy on driving water market competition in a document published by HM Treasury on 30th November 2015.

Its summary of action for Helping Households states:-

"Water.The government is driving water market competition. Business and other non-household customers will be able to switch suppliers from 2017. Ofwat will provide an assessment by summer 2016 of the costs and benefits of extending retail competition to household water customers. Following this, the government will work with water companies to begin the transition to household retail competition before the end of this Parliament."

Action to open up markets

Increasing competition in the water sector
2.3 The government is taking action to promote competition in the water sector in England.Opening up retail competition in the non-household market from 2017 will create the largest retail water market in the world and deliver £200 million in benefits across the UK. The government is also introducing the world’s first competitive market for the sale of water and the disposal of waste water in upstream water markets, which will deliver almost £1.8 billion in benefits across the economy. Upstream water markets will be facilitated by the government’s planned modernisation of the way water abstraction is regulated to enable trading and competition, reduce water waste, cut red tape and help businesses to focus on investment and growth.
2.4 Building on opening up the non-household retail market to competition, the government wants to extend choice to households. Ofwat will provide an assessment by summer 2016 of the costs and benefits of extending retail competition to household water customers. Following this, the government will work with water companies to begin the transition to retail competition before the end of this Parliament.

The full document entitled "A better deal: boosting competition to bring down bills for families and firms" can be found by following this link.