The deregulated water market one year on - a broker’s perspective

It has been a year since the water market deregulated in England and utility management specialist, Kinect Energy Group, believes it has been a challenging one in terms of generating an interest to switch.

Kinect Energy Group, formerly Orchard Energy, has noted that despite there being a large effort to educate businesses about the benefits of the water deregulation, engagement and interest levels among customers are low.

The utility management specialist has found that over the past year, the water deregulation has fallen short of expectations and believes that retailers are not providing enough SME customers with the incentives required for them to switch.

Around 70% of the UK’s energy is purchased through a broker, therefore Kinect Energy advises retailers to take the time to understand the role of a broker and the value that they add in order to make a success of the market.

Commenting on past 12 months of the water market, Chris Quinn, Commercial Water Director at Kinect Energy Group, said: “It’s been an interesting first year in the newly deregulated English water market, and the time seems to have flown by. After what felt like a sluggish start for quoting in the first three months, things really started to recover well at the back end of 2017.

“We started to see multiple quotes coming through for customers’ business, and finally started to see customers switching, which was a huge relief. But overall, I think the first year has been a challenging one in many respects, particularly when it comes to customer interest.

“Businesses want cheaper prices, particularly those in the SME sector, but these customers generally don’t attribute much value to enhanced and value-added services that many retailers are trying to balance off the poor margin levels with. Therefore the industry has faced challenges when demonstrating to customers about why they should switch.”

“Don’t get me wrong, SME customers are switching, and we have brokered the deal for many SME customers, who are now realising the benefits of cheaper prices. But, on the whole, I definitely think this is falling short of expectations and not providing enough SME customers with the incentives required for them to switch in their droves.”

Kinect Energy delivers trusted energy advice to simplify businesses’ energy management, sustainability and supply. The utility management specialist also offers turnkey solutions to solve complex energy challenges across a wide range of industries, infrastructures, and locations around the world.

Chris added: “The market still has a long way to go before it can be claimed a success and, from a customer service perspective, we have seen the good, the bad and the downright ugly from retailers over the course of the last 12 months.

“It’s plainly obvious that many retailers have work to do, and lots of it, before they become the choice for customers.

“At Kinect Energy we work hard to gain the trust of our customers; building long-term and authentic relationships and it’s my hope that we can forge more links with businesses during year two of deregulation.”