Press Releases 2007

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News Release 08/2007 - More choice for water customers in Scotland

30 October 2007

The economic regulator of the Scottish water industry today announced that it has granted permanent water and sewerage services licences to another new entrant to the industry, Aquavitae (UK) Limited.

Following on from Satec Limited, Aquavitae is the second private sector company licensed to sell water to the 130,000 business customers in Scotland.

The Water Industry Commission has welcomed the greater choice that competition of this kind provides. Customers have the opportunity to choose a supplier that offers them the service most attractive to them at the best price.

Speaking today, Sir Ian Byatt, Chairman of the Commission said:

“This is good news for business customers in Scotland. A greater choice of supplier means greater choice about the price they pay and the service they receive.”

With six months to go until market opening, and two new suppliers already licensed, customers can exercise that choice now by negotiating pre-agreements with suppliers. These agreements would take effect on 1 April 2008 when the market opens.

NOTES TO EDITORS

  1. Copies of the licences granted to Aquavitae and Satec can be found on the Commission’s website, www.watercommission.co.uk  
  2. Aquavitae is a private water company based in Windsor, Berkshire. It was formed in 2001 and in 2005 it acquired a combined licence to provide water and waste water services in England and Wales. Aquavitae currently provides billing and water efficiency services to over 100 business customers in the UK.
  3. For information about how to apply for permanent water services and/or sewerage services licences, including details of the application process, go to www.watercommission.co.uk or telephone 01786 430200.
  4. After 1 April 2008, Scottish Water will remain the wholesale supplier of water and sewerage services in Scotland. Licensed service providers will buy wholesale services from Scottish Water and retail these services to business customers. Competition of this kind (similar to that introduced to the electricity and gas industries) should bring wider choice, lower prices, better services and increased innovation.
  5. End customer charges will continue to be protected. Licensed service providers in the market will be required to offer default tariffs set by WICS to all customers. These default tariffs will rise by no more than inflation until 2010 (the tariffs business customers would have paid had Scottish Water remained their end service provider).
  6. The framework for competition in the Scottish water industry is set out in the Water Services etc. (Scotland) Act 2005. The 2005 Act requires the Water Industry Commission to establish a regime to license new entrants into the market, and facilitate the orderly opening of the market.

    For further information please call Katherine Russell, Director of Corporate Affairs, on 01786 430200.

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