Water self-supply will have a serious adverse impact on water retail markets in Scotland and England.

Author: Graham Mann, Water Audit Expert – Water self-supply


Water audit expert firm H20 Building Services predicts a substantial adverse effect to both the Scottish water retail market and the English water retail market as the hunger for reducing water bills in the none residential water market gathers pace.


With many water companies investing tens of £millions in new systems, staff and training in order to take advantage of the commercial opportunities in both the Scottish water and English water retail markets and to protect their retail customer base many water companies new and existing must be left wondering what effect schemes such as water self-supply and new firms such as The Alternative Water Company entering the water market and offering 25 – 30% discounts which cannot be matched by any regulated water supplier will have on their businesses.


What is water self-supply?


In simple terms its a scheme open to none residential customers in both the Scottish and English water markets whereby they are able to cut out the retailer and buy their water supplies from the wholesale water markets.

Thus effectively cutting our the retail margin enabling the customers to reduce their water supply costs substantially more than buying through retail markets.


A big BUT, it only works for those customers at the top end of the water market, the water and waste water spend and the overall make up of the water and waste water bills.


In the Scottish water market the water self-supply scheme would work for the Scottish Prison Service – The Scottish Health Services – Universities – Pool and Leisure firms – Hotels and the general rule of thumb is a water and waste water bill above £500,000 a year may well benefit from taking the water self-supply route.

If you are considering this and other options my advise is consult an expert and commission a water self-supply financial feasibility study, the scheme works well in Scotland as the gross wholesale margins are very attractive as the water market has matured and appears to be working well after 8 years. England is a far different matter, low single digit discounts are the order of the day but will know doubt increase overtime.


So water self-supply in England is really a none starter for the moment but as the market matures and margins increase water self-supply will come into it own, this being the case water self-supply will become the norm stripping out the top and middle tier water customers.

This scenario coupled with the activities of  Alternative Water Company UK Ltd taking large and medium water users such as Hospitals, Universities, Leisure Parks and Leisure Clubs “off grid”.

In just a few months of trading Alternative Water Company UK Ltd is already into negotiations with new customers in the manufacturing and production market to supply water at discounted prices that the regulated water suppliers cannot hope to match. The point here is that only after a very short period of time £15 million worth of water supply contracts at today’s retail value will be taken out of the traditional water industry and again this new innovation is now gathering pace.

Combining this with water self-supply anything between £0.3 billion to £0.4 billion could disappear from the water retail market.


Further impacts on the industry will of course be on water volumes and more and more pressure is applied to water costs and environmental considerations revenue will be on a downward spiral from here on in as the quest for driving down water costs gathers pace.


Are you considering “switching water supplier” click the link for the short video 

Are you considering “water self-supply” click the link for the short video 

For water self-supply and switching water supplier experts call 01924 387 873 or email

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About the Author
I have been in the Water Industry over 25 years how time has flown! during this time nearly 20 years ago H2o Building Services was born and what a journey its been, meeting and overcoming challenges along the way, working in close partnership with clients, listening to clients exacting requirements finding solutions to Water Utility and Sewerage problems with the primary focus on reducing Water Bills by completing Water Audits, Water Leak Detection, identifying Water Company overcharges, and reducing Waste Water cost through enhanced Waste Water Treatment recently delivered a £1.45M Waste Water Treatment Works up grade, Foul and Surface drainage survey and up grade, and Sea Outfall repair and renewal project, and leakage detection and repair to potable water supplies working in partnership with a large national Parks and Leisure company and the Water Utility company. Here at H2o we provide a complete Water Management service from initial Water Audit Site survey and report containing recommendations to reduce Water Bills, we then complete all of the work both installation and water consultancy services, then on complete provide a Water Bill Validation service to ensure Water Savings are delivered and maintained, we are a Water solutions based business you have a Water problem we deliver a solution to resolve the problem. We put our clients at the heart of everything we do, and work tirelessly to deliver to our clients expectations supported by a fantastic team of professionals within the H2o network through hard work and dedication we produce some amazing results and certainly through my on going research we are without doubt the leading Water Audit Experts in the UK today.

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