Frequently asked questions
From 1 April 2017 the retail water market changed, allowing an estimated 1.2 million businesses, charities and public sector organisations the freedom to choose their water and waste water retailer. The creation of this new market will allow businesses to switch from their local monopoly water company (the incumbent) to another water supplier for retail account management activities.
Your services can fall into two parts:
- The wholesale service supplies clean water to you and takes away and treats wastewater from your premises.
- The retail service provides the customer facing activities that include billing, meter reading and customer service.From 1 April, Severn Trent will no longer provide a retail service to non-household/business customers.
In response to the changes in the water industry, Severn Trent and United Utilities have joined forces to create a new water retail company, called Water Plus, specifically for non-household customers. Water Plus will act on our behalf until we exit the non-household retail market within the next 12 months, however you have the ability to switch retailers at any time. For more information about the market changes and retailers, please visit Open Water.
Your water and waste water services will still be provided by Severn Trent’s wholesale businesses though the same network. Your retailer will provide the retail related services to your business and will work with all wholesalers on your behalf.
For emergencies such as supply interruption, low pressure, leaks, bursts, sewage leaks or problems with taste and odour, you can continue to contact Severn Trent’s 24/7 emergency line on 0800 783 4444 or online at stwater.co.uk via webchat.
Please speak to your retailer for billing and account related enquiries – their contact details will be on the latest communication to you or a recent copy of your water and/or wastewater bill.
Information for customers in Wales
When Severn Trent and Dee Valley Water came together in early 2017, we proposed some changes to our regulatory (geographical) boundaries. Following a public consultation the water industry regulator (Ofwat) approved the border variation on 23 March 2018. The approval means that our businesses will be separated into English and Welsh licences and boundary changes will come into effect on 1 July 2018.
This means that from 1 July 2018, the boundaries of Severn Trent and Dee Valley will be aligned to the border between England and Wales. The Severn Trent group will have one business for customers in England who will become subject to UK government policy and another business for customers in Wales who will become subject to Welsh government policy.
Any properties or premises that you have in Wales will be subject to Welsh policy and any properties that you have in England that we provide services to, will be subject to UK government policy. The key difference is that non-household premises in England are able to choose their retail supplier; under Welsh Government policy this option is only open to customers using more than 50,000 cubic metres of water per day.
What this means for your business:
- Your premises in Wales will be moved back to be served under Severn Trent’s Welsh licence. Business premises in Wales will not be able to switch to another retail service provider in the future (unless they use more than 50,000m3 of water per day). We’ll be writing to customers in Wales with details of the new service in the coming months.
- From 1 July, any properties that you have in England will continue to be eligible to participate in the market for water services. Severn Trent will continue to supply those premises with clean water and/or take away waste water. Water Plus have been providing retail services to non-household customers acting as an agent on behalf of Severn Trent. On 1 July 2018, they will take on full responsibility for retail accounts. There will be no change in the service you receive, but you are free to choose an alternative water retailer if you wish to do so. All retailers can be found at open-water.org.uk.