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Water supply licensing
Non-household customers who are likely to use at least 5 megalitres (Ml) of water a year (50Ml in Wales) at each premises can choose their water supplier from a range of new companies. New companies can supply water to eligible customers once they have a licence from us. They can do so in one of two ways.
- A retail licence – a water supply licence to purchase a wholesale supply of water from an appointed water company and use its supply system to deliver water to customers’ premises.
- A combined licence – to deliver water to eligible customers through an appointed water company’s supply system.
Existing water companies who are appointed under WIA91 can compete by setting up associate companies. Their licence will allow them to operate anywhere in England and Wales, except in the supply region of their associate water company.
We have powers to consider queries and make determinations about some aspects of the water supply licensing regime. For more information about this, please see our water supply licensing determinations procedure. Any issues or concerns should, in the first instance, be raised with our Casework Management Office.
Access to water supply
Licensees need access to appointed water companies’ supply systems to supply their customers. All appointed water companies have to comply with our guidance on providing access by developing access codes that follow our guidance and template, and publishing indicative access prices. They must also deal fairly with licensees’ applications for access.