Press Releases 2008

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Countdown to water industry competition continues as Business Stream granted full licence

16 January 2008

News Release 02/2008
With less than four months to go until the Scottish water industry for business users is opened to competition, Business Stream, a subsidiary of wholesale supplier Scottish Water has been granted full licences by the Water Industry Commission for Scotland.
From 1 April 2008, Business Stream will compete with other licence holders Satec and Aquavitae for the estimated 130,000 non-household customers in Scotland.

Business Stream will operate as a stand-alone entity and compete on the same terms as any supplier. The Water Industry Commission ensures a level playing field exists by requiring Scottish Water to sell water at a regulated wholesale price to all licensees. The licensees will set their own retail prices and levels of service provision, but must offer customers the option of a default price and service package set by the Commission.

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

“Competition is good news for business customers in Scotland. With less than four months to go before the market opens, we are delighted that there are three major companies vying for the custom of businesses operating in Scotland.”
“We will undoubtedly welcome more applicants to the market as it matures and can expect new services and price competition to be stimulated as a result.”

Invitation to Editors:

The Major Energy Users’ Council is joining with the Water Industry Commission for Scotland for a networking and conference event, along with industry representatives, licensees and water customers.

To attend the event in Glasgow on February 7, and in London on February 13, please contact Julie Forcade, Tony Brown or Katie Cox at 3-Monkeys Communications on 020 7440 2410, or Sandra Barradas at the MEUC direct on 020 8578 0466 ([email protected])

Notes to Editors:

  1. Copies of the licences granted to Aquavitae, Satec and Business Stream can be found on the Commission’s website,
  2. Formerly known as Scottish Water Business Stream, Business Stream became a stand alone company within the Scottish Water group in November 2006 in preparation for market opening on 1 April 2008. 
  3. For information about how to apply for permanent water services and/or sewerage services licences, including details of the application process, go to 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. It also required Scottish Water to establish a separate retail entity (now Business Stream) to serve non-household customers in Scotland.

For more press information please call Tony Brown or Julie Fourcade at 3 Monkeys Communications on 020 7440 2410 or e-mail [email protected] / [email protected] or Harriet Towler, WICS Corporate Affairs Manager, on 01786 430200.
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