Providing your own water supply sounds like the perfect option – save money on your bills, work in a cleaner, greener way. Many businesses are choosing to ‘self-supply their water, so could this option be right for you?
Self-supplying your water means that you hold your own self-supply water licence, meaning you deal directly with wholesalers and industry regulators. It can often just be seen as a shortcut, sure-fire way to reduce your business costs (which it does help), but it is not as simple as it may seem. However, here at Energy Solutions we can help support you through the process, and ensure you do not get overcharged.
As you will be ‘selling’ water, technically to yourself, your business must conform to all the regulatory standards set by Ofwat. This means you must be licensed, practice in a legal and safe way, and stay updated with the market.
The different with self-supplying means that you just take on the role of what you pay a supplier to do. Some people believe paying a supplier is worth the additional cost due to the time it may save, whereas others think self-supplying is an excellent business venture and they are keen to be more in control of their business expenses. We can help you decide whether the process is right for you, and your company.
With self-supply, you are in charge so you can tailor it to your business needs, the service level you want, the provider you choose to team with, and the services and costs which work for you. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all business, and yet the water industry provides one-size-fits-all tariffs and services. Self-supply is the only real way to tailor your utilities to your individual business needs, whilst also saving money and increasing efficiency.
Self-supply, however, does not mean there is no government intervention at all in the process. Your practices will still be regulated by industry regulators Ofwat, and you will be held to the same regulation, standards, and expectations as all suppliers are.
It is important to note that you can only be granted a license to self-supply if you are a company whose area of appointment is wholly or mainly in England. Unfortunately, the WSSL licenses are not available to companies who are wholly or mainly in Wales.
So, first you must apply for a self-supply license which can take up to 45 working days to go through. The application fee is £3,000 which means you should be confident and prepared to begin self-supplying before you risk spending lots of money on the venture. Additional costs, which can vary, are also the following:
- Annual fees paid to MOSL,
- Costs of maintaining security status in order to access CMOS,
- General administrative costs of operating and complying in the market.
You can apply by completing the WSSL application form – if you are considering making an application then you can get in touch with the industry regulator Ofwat on the details below:
|Telephone Number||0121 644 7500|
Ofwat also offer the option to review draft applications to self-supply, this means they may provide feedback before the final submission of the application. This helps you to improve your chances of being accepted for the license, being expertly advised by industry professionals!
Additionally, as aforementioned, self-suppliers are still held to the same market performance standards by the regulator, Ofwat. This means that potential penalty charges may be incurred if standards are not met in your business practice, however here at Energy Solutions we can help provide some insight and support in how to correctly manage your self-supply.
Dr Sally Sutton and Dr John Butterworth have written a handy guide which may be invaluable to you and your business if you are starting out with self-supply. The book, ‘Self-supply: Filling in the gaps in public water supply provision’, will help you understand what self-supply can mean and see successful case studies from across the world. Access the book here.
Self-supply licenses never expire. If you wish to no longer hold a self-supply license then you must contact Ofwat directly to discuss revoking the license.
Benefits of Self-Supply
However, although those start-up and management costs and expectations may seem a little daunting there are many positives for self-supplying water. Let us take a quick look at some of the advantages:
|You are managing your own water supply||This is good if you would like to be more hands on with your water usage|
|Direct access to wholesalers||This means cheaper prices are available to you|
|Reading your own meters||This increases efficiency within your business, as processes like this can be instantaneously carried out|
However, it is also important to acknowledge that being your own supplier is going to save you money, but (at least initially) not as much as may expect. This is because it would take a lot of money and time to acquire the necessary staff and recourses needed to fulfil retail obligations as a supplier. It may take you a while to work efficiently and realise what costs are necessary and which can be saved on. These teething problems are to be expected, and here at Energy Solutions we will support you into making sure you will reap the profits of your self-supply endeavour by ensuring you are not being overcharged.
Self-Supply Wholesale Suppliers
If you wish to self-supply your business and hold a self-supply license, you can deal directly with one of the following wholesale suppliers:
|Independent Water Networks||Here|
|Dwr Cymru (Welsh Water)||Here|
|Dee Valley Water||Here|
|Cholderton and District Water Company||Here|
|South East Water||Here|
|South West Water||Here|
|Anglian Water Wholesale||Here|
|South Staffs Water||Here|
For more information on whether self-supply is the right option for you and your business, get in touch today.