Choosing your supplier

Developers may be able to choose to replace the existing local monopoly water and/or sewerage company at a particular site or premises with a “new appointee”.

New appointees can supply the site’s premises with water and/or sewerage services on an on-going basis and are responsible for the on-site infrastructure providing these services. They are appointed by us to serve a specific geographic area. You can ask any company to be your supplier, and it has to apply to us for an appointment to serve your site. New appointees can get water from their own source, or buy it wholesale from another water company; likewise they can either treat sewage themselves or agree to discharge it into another company’s sewers.

When considering applications for a new appointee we also make sure that the end customers will be no worse off than they would have been had they stayed with the existing local monopoly water or sewerage company. This means ensuring that the quality of services and the charges for services are at least comparable. Similarly the Drinking Water Inspectorate must be satisfied that the new appointee can supply safe drinking water and if the new appointee has its own sewerage treatment works it will need the Environment Agency’s permission to discharge treated sewage.

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 water or sewerage company agrees to transfer your site or premises to a new appointee.
  • The large user criterion.
  • Your local monopoly water or sewerage company is based mainly in Wales (currently Dŵr Cymru and Dee Valley Water) and you use more than 250 megalitres of water a year.
  • Your local monopoly water or sewerage company is based mainly in England and you use more than 50 megalitres of water a year

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

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 the water and /or sewerage services.

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.

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.