How the Market Works

On the 1st of April 2017, the water market in England opened for around 2 million non-household customers. Scotland has been enjoying the benefits since 2008. If you're based in Wales, unless you use over 50 megalitres of water, your market is not yet open. The water itself still comes from the same source and is treated and taken away in the same way. You can contact your retailer with all your queries about your water supplies and bills. Your retailer interacts with the Market Operator via a system called CMOS (Central Market Operating System) which is the system that connects all the wholesalers and retailers in the market. CMOS is operated by the Market Operator MOSL (Market Operator Services Ltd). Ofwat protects the interest of customers, promotes effective competition and evaluates market performance. 

What does this mean to you?

As an eligible non-household business, charity or public sector organisation you can select your water retailer. This will mean that much like the gas and electricity market, you can choose to engage with an approved retailer for billing, meter reads and customer service.

Wholesale Market vs Retail Market

The water itself still comes from the same source and is treated and taken away in the same way it is today.

With more competition in the market, retailers strive to provide you with better levels of service, streamlining of accounts, more added value services and innovation.

Who does what in the new market?

How to market works diagram

You can contact your retailer with your query or request, for example, you’re moving from one business property to another.

Your retailer will raise the request through the market operator’s Central Market Operating System (CMOS) which will notify your wholesaler. This system will handle all requests such as this and settlement processes between the retailer and wholesalers.

The Market Operator is MOSL (Market Operator Services Ltd). Ofwat confirmed on 7th March 2017 that MOSL had the required support from licencees to retain this position.     

The market will continue to be overseen by Ofwat. Ofwat will protect the interest of customers, promote effective competition, set and evaluate performance in line with obligations and ensure resilience in water and wastewater systems