At the end of the first week of the newly competitive water market, thousands of customers have engaged with the market and nearly 9,000 (8,876*) premises have switched water retailer. The figure was revealed by Market Operator Services Limited (MOSL), which operates the market and ensures it runs efficiently and effectively on behalf of the water companies trading in it.

In addition to those who have chosen to switch water retailer, many more customers – from multi-nationals to micro-businesses, and charities to local authorities – have contacted their existing water retailer to discuss the services they receive or negotiate a better deal. The competition was introduced following the Water Act 2014, with a view to driving future efficiencies in the sector, improving services such as water efficiency measures and reducing customers’ bills.

The programme is thought to be the largest transformational change to the sector since its privatisation in 1989 and has created the largest competitive water market in the world. In the newly competitive market, there are 20 water retailers competing for business.

Cathryn Ross, Ofwat’s Chief Executive, said: “This is a really encouraging start – less than a week in and already we are seeing thousands of customers diving into the new water market. From multi-nationals to micro-businesses – customers are finding the deals that are right for them and they have the confidence to enter the market knowing there is strong oversight and effective protections in place.”