Since 1 April 2008, all 130,000 business customers and public sector, charitable and not-for-profit organisations have been able to choose their supplier. The introduction of competition in the water industry in Scotland has brought wider choice and more tailored services, and is leading to lower prices.
More than 65% of the market has already negotiated a better price or level of service.
To ensure that no customer is adversely affected by the more competitive market we require all retail suppliers to offer a standard default level of service for a standard default tariff. This acts as a safety net to protect customers.
The default tariff is no more than the maximum charge that customers would have paid to Scottish Water for their water supply and sewerage services if competition had not been introduced to the Scottish water supply industry.
We have put in place a number of other measures to ensure that customers benefit from a real choice of supplier. We have, for example, published wholesale charges and market codes, as well as setting up an independent Central Market Agency, which is responsible for the effective operation of the market.