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The upcoming business water market deregulation may benefit salon owners. Brian Ebdon, the SME Director at business water retailer Water Plus, offers insight on how to take advantage of these changes.

As a salon owner, you’re probably well aware that your business uses a lot of water! In fact, for many salons around the UK, it can be one the biggest expenses for your business. Yet, with businesses forced to buy their water from the local supplier, before now there’s been no opportunity to make savings or seek out a cheaper provider.

However, the good news is, this is about to change. From April 2017, the business water market in England is deregulating. For many small and medium-sized businesses, this means that you’ll be able to choose your salon’s water retailer for the first time. Putting the power back in the hands of the customer, water companies are going to have to start competing on price and quality of service, which means if you take the time to shop around, you might find that you could get a better deal elsewhere.

During the run-up to the water market deregulation, many small business owners have reported feeling ill-informed about the upcoming changes. To build a clearer picture of what the changes could mean for your salon, here’s a quick breakdown of what you need to know.


Can I switch?

Before now, only businesses who used over 5000m³ of water per year had the freedom to choose who they pay their water bill to. Now, however, all businesses will be able to switch their water supplier as long as they meet the following criteria:

  • Your business is located in either England or Scotland
  • Your business premises are mainly used for business purposes, not domestic

If your salon, or current business water supplier, is located in Wales, unfortunately you won’t be able to change your supplier at this time. In addition, your business premises need to be used predominantly for business purposes, so you also won’t be able to switch supplier if you work from home.


How do I switch?

Just like switching your energy supplier, your new water supplier will take care of the whole process for you. To ensure your salon is getting the best deal possible, request a quote from your preferred choice of water supplier and compare it to your current bill. If you’ll be paying less with your new supplier, simply sign up to the new water provider and they should handle everything else, including notifying your old supplier.


What are the benefits of switching water supplier?

Price: It’s no secret that salons use a lot of water each year. Make the most of the new powers available to you as business customers and shop around to find the cheapest deals.

Service: With business water suppliers now in competition with each other, many will be vying to offer you a better service. Seek out a provider who’s striving to make the whole buying process as easy and as uncomplicated for your salon as possible.

Extras: What else can your new provider offer you? From tailored water efficiency advice to installing smart meters, some water companies offer a whole range of extra services which could help you reduce your water bill.


How to optimise your water usage

You don’t just need to look at your current contract to make a difference to your water bill. Most salons can make savings just by getting smart about water efficiency. Here are some top tips on the best ways to cut the cost of your water and help the environment in the process.

  • Get a smart meter so you can accurately monitor the amount of water your salon is using. This will help track how much water you’re using each month.
  • When replacing your shower heads, opt for water efficient alternatives. Some water efficient shower heads can reduce your water consumption by up to 47%!
  • Make sure all your staff are aware of the benefits of reducing your salon’s water usage, giving them guidance on where to cut back.
  • Check regularly for leaks and report them to your water supplier as quickly as you can. Letting any damage to pipes or equipment go unnoticed can have a big effect on your annual water bill.


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