In a surprising move, Thames Water has revealed that will leave the commercial property utilities market when tendering begins, transferring all of its current business clients to former rival, Castle Water.
Thames Water stands as the UK’s largest water and wastewater services provider, supplying around 2,600 million litres of tap water to some 9 million customers across London and the Thames Valley every day. The organisation also removes and treats more than 4 billion litres of sewage for 15 million customers, and operates and maintains some 102 water treatment works, 30 raw water reservoirs, 288 pumping stations and 235 clean water service reservoirs.
Castle Water, a Scottish water supplier, will begin to take on Thames Water’s responsibilities to business customers in autumn this year as the role Thames Water’s is eventually fazed out in stages. By April 2017, Castle Water is expected to have acquired the business retail operation as well as Thames Water’s current Scottish client base – just in time for the opening of the competitive market.
Thames Chief Executive, Martin Baggs, remained positive about the organisation’s process of consolidation, insisting that the dissolution of its business arm would enable the company to focus more fully on its regional household business which he described as Thames Water’s “core” operation.
He added that it would open up the national retail market, inspiring greater competition and, in turn, delivering better value for customers – something that aligns with the values and ambitions of the new government.
The organisation will continues to provide retail services to household customers. And, as Martin Baggs alludes, the household market is Thames Water’s biggest, making up more than 95% of its total client base. With renewed emphasis on that market, Thames Water intends to invest heavily in the creation a new customer relationship and billing system to improve levels of customer service and customer satisfaction.
Existing business clients with Thames Water need not fear, however. Baggs stressed that Castle Water works by the same tokens as Thames Water and will continue to meet the needs of customers in the same attentive and high quality manners that clients to which clients have grown accustomed.
John Reynolds, Chief Executive of Castle Water confirmed the news and expressed his excitement for the opportunity, adding that the provision of water for Thames Water’s business clients is another step toward becoming the UK’s fastest growing water suppliers.