Choosing a new appointee

What are new appointees?

New appointees are companies that have successfully applied for an appointment to replace the existing water and or sewerage company at a particular site.

If a company already has an appointment elsewhere and applies to serve a particular site, we vary its existing appointment to cover the site rather than grant it a new appointment.

Who is eligible?

In order to choose a new appointee you must meet one the following criteria.

  • The unserved criterion. Your site has no existing mains water connection and it has no existing mains sewer connection.
  • The consent criterion. The existing local monopoly supplier agrees to transfer your site or premises to another company.
  • The large user criterion.
    • Your local monopoly supplier is based mainly in Wales (currently Dŵr Cymru, Dee Valley Water or Albion Water) and you use more than 250 megalitres of water a year.
    • Your local monopoly supplier is another company and you use more than 50 megalitres of water a year

(If you are unsure which your local monopoly supplier is, this information will be on your bill if you have received one, or you can contact us.)

Please see ‘New appointments and variations – a statement of our policy’ for further information.

Which companies are new appointees?

Any company can apply to become a new appointee.

Things to consider when choosing a new appointee

When you are choosing a new appointee you should consider the following:

  • whether it can offer you any additional or multi-utility services and how promptly and efficiently it can provide those services
  • how it is offering to manage your account
  • what standards of service it is offering and what it will do if it fails to deliver the promised standards
  • the price of water or sewerage supply

How does it work?

You can choose a new appointee for water, or sewerage services, or water and sewerage services. Once you change your supplier to a new appointee, it will take over responsibility for providing those services to your site.

New appointees either get their water from their own source, such as a borehole, or they buy it wholesale from another company. They either treat sewage in their own plants, or they discharge it into another company’s sewers.

The new appointee may introduce its own water into the public supply system. It may also buy its water from another company, in which case it needs to negotiate a price for that water before it can begin to charge you. You will continue to use the water from the public supply and the Drinking Water Inspectorate must confirm that it is safe to use before your new supply begins.

If the new appointee has its own sewerage treatment works, then it will need the Environment Agency’s permission to discharge the treated sewage into the environment. If the new appointee discharges the wastewater to another company’s sewers, it will need to negotiate a price for this before they can begin to charge you.

What do you need to do to choose a new appointee?

Once you contact a company about your supply, it will need to apply to us to be appointed to your site or premises. We will make sure that you are eligible to switch to a new appointee, and that the new appointee has the resources to supply you with water or sewerage services, or both.

Before we can make the appointment you will need to provide your proposed new appointee with a signed letter of consent confirming that you agree to the switch.

How long does it take?

We aim to make the new appointment within 110 working days of receiving a completed application from your proposed new appointee. This may take longer in some circumstances.

Please see ‘New appointment and variation applications – a statement of our process’ for further information.

How you are protected as a new appointee customer

We have the same powers to regulate new appointees as we have to regulate existing monopoly water companies. This includes making sure that each new appointee is financially viable.

We have a legal duty to protect the interests of consumers, wherever appropriate by promoting effective competition. When we consider applications for new appointments, one of our primary concerns is that customers should be ‘no worse off’ if they are supplied by a new appointee than if they were supplied by the existing appointee for that area. This means that the quality of services and the charges for water and sewerage services must be at least comparable.

Similarly, the Drinking Water Inspectorate must also be satisfied that the new appointee can supply safe drinking water before an appointment can be granted.

Disputes and complaints

If you have a complaint about your new appointee you should contact them in the first instance. You can also contact the Consumer Council for Water.

Investigation on how the market is working

In January 2017 we launched an investigation into how the new appointee market is working. We will report on the findings and any action we are taking in Summer 2017.