A new information leaflet targeting new businesses has been published to set out how they can benefit from the water market in Scotland. The leaflet clearly explains what businesses can be charged for, and how they can switch provider.
Citizens Advice Scotland’s Consumer Futures Unit (“CFU”) worked with the Water Industry Commission for Scotland (“WICS”), Business Gateway, Scottish Water and the Federation of Small Businesses to develop the leaflet which will help to improve outcomes for business consumers in the non-domestic water market in Scotland.
The Consumer Futures Unit’s leaflet complements the existing Scotland on Tap website. It is hoped that the leaflet, by targeting new businesses, will alert them to the wide range of options available, and to ensure customers get the best deals.
The leaflet will be available from the Business Gateway advice network, as well as through other networks in the non-domestic water market. Robert McGeachy, the CFU’s Water Team Manager, said:
“The non-domestic water market in Scotland is at an important stage in its development, with competition increasing and more licensed providers entering the market. It is vital that business consumers in Scotland, particularly SMEs and sole traders, are aware of how to get the best possible deals, and experience the highest levels of customer care, in this changing environment”.
“The information in the leaflet will help new businesses to avoid getting into debt for water and sewerage charges, and protect their growth and long-term viability”.
Alan Sutherland, the Water Commissioner for Scotland, said:
“The Commission trusts that non-household customers will find this new Leaflet useful in helping them to get the best possible deal in the competitive retail market”.
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Citizens Advice Scotland’s Consumer Futures Unit is the consumer representative body for the regulated industries of energy, post and water in Scotland. The Consumer Futures Unit seeks to put Scottish consumers at the heart of policy and regulation in the regulated industries of energy, post and water.
Part of Citizens Advice Scotland, it gathers, develops and acts on evidence, advocating and empowering to improve consumer outcomes. It develops practical policy solutions that lead to consumers being informed, engaged and protected. To help shape policy and practice in the water industry in Scotland to ensure it reflects the needs of consumers, the Consumer Futures Unit is currently working on projects focusing on:
- increasing the voice of consumers in regulation;
- using consumer principles to ensure that consumers are at the heart of regulation and service provision;
- addressing issues relating to transparency in charging, and to improving consumer messaging relating to charging;
- improving services for non-domestic water consumers;
- supporting the improvement of private water supplies and water quality to help improve outcomes for consumers; and
- promoting effective community engagement and consultation
There has been competition in the non-domestic water market in Scotland since 1 April 2008, and businesses may switch Licensed Providers to seek better deals.
A copy of the Consumer Futures Unit’s information leaflet: New businesses and the non-domestic water market can be accessed on Citizens Advice Scotland’s website: http://www.cas.org.uk/publications