Joint venture between business arms will create a new water and wastewater retailer
Anglian Water Business (AWB) and NWG Business (NWGB) have teamed up to create a new retailer of water and wastewater services to non-household customers in England and Scotland.
The new business will be called Wave.
The deal – a 50/50 joint venture – has been struck in advance of changes that allow businesses, charities and public sector organisations to choose their water retailer from the beginning of April this year.
The expertise brought to the deal by both companies will create a highly efficient business able to offer customers significantly simpler management of their utility services.
The joint venture creates a business which will have more than a quarter of a million customers and a combined turnover of more than £500m. Customers will benefit from the water efficiency expertise AWB has built up helping customers thrive in the east of England – the driest region of the UK – allied with NWGB’s industry leading expertise in trade effluent and wastewater treatment. This will create a strong customer offer across both water and wastewater services.
Wave customers will have access to a range of efficiency services. The new joint venture intends to become a multi-utility retailer, providing gas and electricity services in addition to the water and wastewater services initially on offer. The intention is to create a utility bundle that will be easy to understand, monitor and manage.
AWB was the first English company to be granted a retail licence to operate in the already competitive Scottish market. This expertise will be combined with the NWGB team’s knowledge of the energy markets, and customer service systems that have been developed to be able to support a multi-utility proposition.
As part of Wave’s commitment to excellent service, customers with multi-site premises will receive unified billing for all their sites. They will be able to manage their account online, with 24/7 access for meter reading submission, viewing bills, bill payment and raising of queries. Simple, flexible billing and payment options will make dealing with Wave easier for customers, while offers such as the ability to select fixed price energy contracts would mean customers are, in future, able to forecast costs more accurately and protect their business from energy price volatility.
Heidi Mottram, Chief Executive at Northumbrian Water Group, said, “The opening of the market enabling non-household customers to choose their supplier is a significant moment for the industry. We’re very excited at the prospect of using our combined strengths to bring a new offering to customers who are able to make a choice for the first time. We have every confidence that this joint venture will create a very compelling offer for non-household customers, both present and future.
“Our investment in customer service and IT capabilities demonstrates our commitment to make sure that the new market succeeds, and that our customers experience genuine benefits as a result.”
Peter Simpson, Chief Executive of Anglian Water Group, said, “On the eve of the non-household market opening to competition, we’re delighted to be able to announce the creation of Wave, a business which brings together two culturally similar organisations who both have a passion for great customer service. We’ve built up distinct expertise serving our respective regions in recent years, and our complementary experiences will come together to offer customers a very competitive service offering.
“Anglian Water Business’ customer proposition goes far beyond competitive pricing. It’s all about delivering real value to customers, with a team of experts and innovative services constantly targeting reductions that are better for both the customers’ bottom line and the environment.”
NWG Business and Anglian Water Business will enter the new market in April as separate entities, combining to form the new business, Wave, following regulatory clearance.
The joint venture is subject to clearance from the competition authorities.
1. The Water Act 2014 provided for businesses, charities and public sector customers to choose their supplier from April 1, 2017. Large organisations in England and Wales can already choose who they pay for these retail water services and the market in Scotland has been open since 2008.
2. Anglian Water operates in the east of England, where it trades as Anglian Water and in Hartlepool, where it trades as Hartlepool Water.
3. Anglian Water Business National was formed in 2011 bringing together the Scottish retail operation and Anglian Water’s business services division to form a national retailer. It serves organisations across the UK. In 2015 it secured the £350m Scottish Government public sector contract, which will deliver £40m of savings for the Scottish public sector over four years.
4. Having built its business in the driest part of the UK, Anglian Water Business combines competitive pricing with a service-driven approach to understand customers’ needs and deliver solutions that help improve efficiency and achieve lasting savings.
5. Northumbrian Water operates in the north east of England, where it trades as Northumbrian Water, and in the south east of England, where it trades as Essex & Suffolk Water.
6. NWG Business started trading in 2013.
7. NWG Business offers expertise in customer service systems offering easy and simple access to the information needed for customers to manage their water and waste water supplies.
8. NWG Business supplies business organisations across the UK, including many ‘blue chip’ clients.