Notice of retail exit application
The water retail market has been open to competition since 1 April 2017, and non-household customers are able to choose the company that provides retail services. This means that activities such as meter reading, customer contact, billing and collection can be undertaken by water retailers while water wholesalers will continue to provide clean water and treat used water for non-household customers. The competitive market works in a similar way to the other utility services such as gas, electricity and telecoms.
Since April 2017, Severn Trent’s non-household customers have been managed by Water Plus, a retail joint venture company that we created with United Utilities to serve the new competitive water retail market in England and Scotland. Water Plus has been acting an as agent on behalf of Severn Trent to provide water retail services to non-household customers until Severn Trent formally exits the retail market.
Following our purchase of Dee Valley Water, we proposed some changes to our regulatory (geographical) boundaries. As a result, we decided to withdraw our initial application to exit the retail market until the changes were approved.
Following a public consultation Ofwat approved the border variation on 23 March. From 1 July the boundaries of Severn Trent and Dee Valley will be aligned to the border between England and Wales.
The Secretary of State has approved our application to exit the non-household water retail market, effective from 1 July 2018.
Water Plus will become the retailer for our non-household (business) customers. Since Water Plus is already acting as our agent, business customers should see no impact on the service they receive. If DEFRA approves our application, we’ll be writing to customers to notify them about the changes.