Since the English business water market opened in 2017, there have naturally been some questions about how everything works. The new system means that organisations will now have both a water wholesaler and a water retailer, but what exactly are the differences between the two?

The wholesalers

Wholesalers own the water network infrastructure in their area and provide water to business customers through that same network of pipes. Wholesalers are responsible for the maintenance of their water infrastructure, as well as the sourcing, treatment and transportation of water, and the collection and treatment of wastewater. If there’s a leak on your street, your wholesaler is responsible for the repairs. However, the wholesalers no longer perform any customer-facing activities, such as billing and customer service.

The retailers

The water retailers, like Castle Water, buy the water supply services from the wholesalers on behalf of their customers, and then add a small margin on top for handling the customer-facing activities. This is how most other service industries operate: phone networks, gas and electricity companies already work this way.

Castle Water

For most retailers, those customer-facing activities are limited to basic customer service and billing, but Castle Water knows that customers deserve and expect more for their money. Castle Water launched in 2014 with a clear mission to create a fresh brand of water retailer that was independent of the water networks and focused on providing an excellent service at a fair price. Today, we do all that and more for our customers.

We see our customers as individuals and our people go the extra mile to recognise each customer’s needs and provide a tailored service to them.

As an independent retailer, we’re not shy about fighting for the rights of our customer. We challenge the water industry and the wholesalers to deliver improvements and drive down costs for our customers.

UK Businesses use millions of gallons of water every day, and we’re committed to helping our customers to use only what they need. In fact, we go out of our way to empower our customers to use less water, with free advice always available and our industry-leading partners ready to offer additional water efficiency services such as leak detection and repair, emergency water supply and automatic meter reading.

In short,

  • your wholesaler manages the water network infrastructure, plus the treatment and transportation of your water
  • your retailer handles the customer service and billing. Picking a retailer that provides these services to the standard you expect is up to you…

It pays to make sure you’re with the right retailer, and there’s never been a better or easier time to switch!