BBPA urges pubs to capitalise on new water laws

By Liam Coleman

- Last updated on GMT

Water change: the BBPA is urging licensees to take note of new options from April
Water change: the BBPA is urging licensees to take note of new options from April

Related tags Water Water supply

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has called for pubs to make the most of the new competitive market for water and not let the changes wash over licensees.

From April 2017​, businesses in England – including all of the country's pubs – will be able to switch their water supplier, meaning there is huge potential for efficiency savings. As a result, the BBPA has now partnered with the Consumer Council for Water​ to promote the changes and opportunities to licensees.

How pubs can prepare for the changes

"The best thing for publicans to do that will protect them in the open market is know exactly how much water they’re using now and how they pay for it." – Claire Yeates, Waterscan

"Having someone visit the site and review how you're using water is normally quite a cost-effective way to reduce consumption." – Peter Gaskell, Anglian Water

"This is a big change for our water supplies that should bring more competition and choice into the market, and pubs need to be aware of the potential for savings," the BBPA's chief executive, Brigid Simmonds, said.

Close to 25% savings

The changes​ will mean that water for business will still be provided by the regional water supplier, but the administration and billing can be carried out by a different company. This change was introduced in Scotland in 2008 and Scottish businesses now see savings of close to 25% on water bills prior to the changes.

Water companies are therefore likely to up their game in terms of the service provided for businesses, according to Claire Yeates from water consultancy company Waterscan. "They’re offering added value through consolidated billing, help with leak detection and regular meter readings,” she told The Morning Advertiser​ (MA​).

Simmonds from the BBPA added that these additional services will provide an opportunity for licensees. "Operators can look to reduce bills by negotiating new tariffs and by consolidating billing across multiple sites. We may also see other innovations, through new services such as water efficiency and leakage checks and leakage control, that could generate lower bills."

Choice is 'empowering'

The BBPA is working alongside the Consumer Council for Water to alert licensees to the opportunities from April.

A spokesperson for the Consumer Council for Water told MA​: "For the first time, small businesses will have the power to switch or renegotiate a better deal on their retail water services. Our research suggests that many customers will feel empowered by having a choice of retail service provider. Retailers that focus on customer service can reduce unwanted surprises from the billing process.

"National multi-site operators, meanwhile, are telling us that they want to manage their bills across their organisation. Moving to a single retailer and consolidating their billing will be a key feature of the market for many of them."

Related news

Show more