Published On: Mon, Nov 13th, 2017

Government water market reforms could take up to FIVE YEARS to work properly

In April regulator Ofwat launched the biggest shake-up of the sector since privatisation.

Doing so by allowing businesses, charities and public sector groups to purchase water from firms other than their local supplier.

However, official figures released last month show that only 25,010 out of a potential market of 2.7million have switched water suppliers.

Energy and utilities consultant Utilitywise said deregulation is falling flat because not enough people know they can switch and prices are too complex.

This means people cannot make valid comparisons.

Chief executive Brendan Flattery said that even if Ofwat steps in immediately and does more to publicise and encourage switching, it will still take “three to five years” before it becomes commonplace.

Elsewhere, challenger power group Bulb has called on the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) to block the merger of Big Six energy firms SSE and Npower.

Bulb co-founder Hayden Wood said: “The CMA needs to protect competition and consumers.”

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