Power companies set to move into water supply

The water industry could be blown wide open for competition under plansbeing proposed by the Government in May to deregulate the water industry.

Centrica-owned British Gas is already gearing up to supply water to itscustomers towards the end of 2003, and other utility companies areconsidering offering branded tap water to customers.

At present a company can only enter the industry if it sets up the water supply infrastructure, such as treatment and pipes, and consumers are notm free to switch their water company, as they are their gas and electricity suppliers.

British Gas, which has set up a team to look at opportunities in the water market, has previously lobbied for retail competition in the water industry.

Head of the water project team at British Gas Derek Meachem says: “We want to bring our experiences from the energy market to the water sector and give water customers better value for money. This falls in line with our strategy of developing a one-stop shop for all household essentials.” British Gas already offers gas, electricity, telephone and home services such as boiler repairs.

Under the Government proposal, the water companies will remain responsible for the treatment, distribution, ownership and maintenance of water while the retail companies will be responsible for marketing, billing, pricing and customer services.

The consultation paper has been presented to water regulator Ofwat and existing water companies.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here