Open Water: Moving Beyond the First Year
A previous blog post presented a short summary of progress made during year one of the open water market in England, deregulated on 1st April 2017.
The post concluded that the first twelve months been very successful but with some outstanding issues remaining to be resolved. These included poor data quality, inaccurate billing, customer service and SME market awareness.
Similar conclusions emerged from Future Retail #1, the UK’s inaugural water retailing conference held by Utility Week/Water Retail.
Based on feedback from high level delegates who attended, the key takeaways were as follows:
- The first year of the English open water market has been a success. However, there is more to be done so that issues such as poor-quality data and a lack of communication between wholesalers and retailers do not stunt the future success of the market.
- The English market has had a slow start, but it has still taken off faster than the Scottish market, where customers are now benefiting significantly from water efficiency offerings and innovative technologies. It is vital that the English market follows suit in this regard.
- Arguably, the biggest threat to the success of the market is inaccurate or incomplete data, which will provide a barrier to good service if it isn’t sorted quickly. Waiting for switching to sort this issue out will take too long – it must be purposely corrected.
- Customer complaints have risen at a worrying rate.
- The market is still finding its feet. The focus going forward will be to continue ironing out the issues which are a threat to its success.
With Bridgeall’s extensive experience delivering solutions for the deregulated water market in both Scotland and England, we are uniquely positioned to support the industry in moving beyond the first year of open water.
Please see here for a summary of our water industry experience - Bridgeall sectors.
The full transcript from the Utility Week/Water Retail conference can be found here - First Retail #1 - free registration may be required.