How to Save on Small Business Water Rates

by | Apr 26, 2018

Download our FREE guide


What’s on this page?

  1. Average water rates for small business
  2. Average water rates for households
  3. 6 reasons to save on small business water rates
  4. 2 simple ways to reduce small Business water rates
  5. This all sounds good, but where do I start?
  6. Voltix case study
  7. Curious about average business energy consumption?

Average water rates for small business

Initiates introduced to offset the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic have helped UK businesses deal with its devastating impact on the global economy, but businesses owners must be mindful of areas in which they can make meaningful savings.  

With over 90 000 customers helped through payment breaks during the pandemic as of February 2021, it is clear that pockets have been hit by mandatory lockdowns and business shutdowns.  

While average water bills fell by £2 in 2021/22, with businesses reopening their doors once again, costs are expected to rise once more.  

What are the average water rates for small business? This guide answers this question, as well as providing water saving advice from the water services experts to help your company understand the average water rates for small business, save on small business water rates and maximise water saving measures.

Saving water doesn’t always rise to the top of businesses’ priority lists, especially in places such as the UK where water shortages aren’t an everyday concern. However, environmental scientists predict that worldwide fresh water shortages will be one of the world’s most pressing environmental concerns in the next 50 years.

Every organisation uses water in different ways. By knowing how your business uses water and where it’s used, you can start identifying opportunities for efficient water use. This guide can help you identify potential water savings, freeing up funds that you can then put towards achieving your actual business goals.

Average water rates for households

According to Water UK, the average household water rates are forecast at £408 for the 2021/22 year – but water bills will vary from supplier to supplier.  

Over a million customers received reduced bills in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and more than 90 000 customers were given payment breaks. 

Did you know? The average water rates are higher in the North West of England.

Switch Water Supplier and Save

The open water market means you can now switch supplier and get a better deal on your business water.

6 Reasons to Save on Small Business Water Rates

Here’s why you should try to reduce the average water rates for small business:

1. Secure our Water Supplies

Water resources are becoming scarcer, which means that it’s becoming more expensive to build new infrastructure to augment existing water supply. Saving water reduces the pressure on creating new infrastructure. It also means that our water supply is more resilient to climate change.

2. Save on Business Water Rates

First, foremost, and most obviously, saving water means that you save on your business water rates.

3. Protect the Environment

Efficient water use minimises the amount of water taken from aquifers and rivers due to a rise in demand. Reducing our dependence on these water sources protects the resources themselves as well as the wildlife that inhabit them.

4. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Processing, purifying and heating water is an energy-intensive process, and operational emissions from the water industry account for almost 1% of the UK’s total emissions.

5. Generate Positive PR

Showing the public that your company cares about saving water enhances its reputation. Your water saving measures can be used as public relations material.

6. Comply with Environmental Legislation

Businesses that invest in technologies and strategies that encourage sustainable water use may be eligible for tax savings. The Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) water scheme incentivises businesses to invest in technologies that improve water quality and save water by letting qualifying companies claim back 100% first-year allowances on investments in certain technologies and products.

2 Simple Ways to Reduce Small Business Water Rates

The best business water reductions come from implementing an array of measures consistently across the business. A broker can work with you to advise on and implement both quick wins and long-term gains to make your organisation’s water strategy more efficient and cost-effective.

Here’s how you can reduce the average water rates for small business:

1. Shop around and save on small business water rates

The floodgates opened in 2017 when the water market was deregulated, offering businesses a choice of water suppliers and allowing them to benefit from increased competitiveness and elect the water supplier that best suits their needs. It also means that businesses are able to consolidate their bills, with one supplier to administer all of their sites.

How much do you stand to save?

Your business stands to make notable savings in an increasingly competitive market. By shopping the market and comparing small business water rates, your business can save up to 20% on your small business water rates, money which can then be allocated to other important areas.

The Savings Stats

  • Small businesses will benefit from a savings windfall of £200 million!
  • Over 36 000 businesses have switched water suppliers since the non-household market deregulation in April. More than half of these are low water users – most likely SMEs.
  • Our research shows that the current standard rates from the most expensive provider to the cheapest supplier is different by 57%.

What stops businesses from switching?

  • It’s too much effort – There is some legwork involved in shopping and switching, but the cost-saving benefit is usually worth the effort.
  • I won’t save much money – The amount of money your business stands to save depends on your water usage habits and your current deal. However, it’s likely that if you haven’t switched for a while, the savings could be significant.
  • I’m loyal to my supplier – When it comes to small business water rates savings, businesses need to be proactive to find the best deal. It’s worthwhile to compare quotes from other suppliers and/or negotiating with your existing supplier for a new deal that better suits your needs.

2. Reduce Water Consumption

Our experts offer some water saving tips to help your business save on your water consumption and small business water rates as a result.

Save on business water rates - average water rates

Easy water-saving measures

Educate and inform your employees on the importance and practices of water efficiency and remind them to save water at every opportunity. They may also have some ideas of their own.

  • Monitor leakage by checking your water meters at night or when water is not being used.
  • Make sure that relevant personnel know where your supply pipes run and where the shut-off valves are located. Should a pipe suddenly burst, someone will then be able to shut off the mains quickly to avoid water wastage.
  • Insulate your pipes to reduce the risk of water freezing and pipes bursting.
  • Check your monthly water bills and record your consumption so that you’re aware of any spikes in your tariffs and can identify the cause of them.
  • Use a smart water meter for efficient water consumption data and analysis. You can use this to set targets for water efficiency.
  • Conduct regular checks for drips, leaks and other water wastage and encourage your employees to do the same.

Check for water leaks

CCWater reported that 3.1 billion litres of water were lost in Wales and England every day in 2016/7 – an increase of 1%. The organisation has warned suppliers to curb leakage levels in light of the published figures.

Leading suppliers have responded positing their commitment to leakage performance in meeting targets. CCWater has reported that only four companies missed their targets this year, raising the concern that targets aren’t “challenging enough”. As pointed out by Tony Smith, chief executive of CCWater, suppliers’ failures to address leakage issues can have a negative effect on consumer attitudes to water saving.

Leakage figures have been reduced by a third since the mid-1990s and Ofwat has proposed suppliers work towards a 15% leak reduction between 2020 and 2025. Continued pressure by these organisations means consumers will benefit from the associated effect improvements will have on their water bills.

Viewed within a broader context, the wastefulness of the leaks highlights the role of all members of the supply chain in reducing leakage and saving water, which will have both financial and environmental benefits.

Longer-term water-saving investments

Major cost savings can be gained through the installation of simple devices that may require higher upfront costs but result in water and cost-savings in the long run.

  • Purchase water-efficient equipment
  • Urinal controls or waterless urinals
  • Efficient flush toilets
  • Automatic or sensor taps
  • Water-efficient taps and showers (these will save on both water and energy by minimising the use of heated water)
  • A rainwater harvesting device
  • Water recycling infrastructure that will allow you to use greywater or rainwater
  • Use a sensored irrigation system to better control exterior water use
  • Fit your showers and faucets with low-flow restrictors

This all sounds good, but where do I start?

For many SMEs, acquiring and comparing quotes and understanding contract terms is a tedious process. The administration detracts from the fundamental daily running of operations. Many SMEs have all intention of saving water and reducing small business water rates, but the truth is that they simply don’t have the time, expertise, resources or relationships to pursue strategic water portfolio management. This is why it’s beneficial for businesses to use the services of a professional broker.

At Smarter Business, know that SMEs have relatively restricted time to thoroughly explore their options in the open water market. But the reality is that if you’re not taking the time to investigate the options, you are likely missing out on valuable small business water rates savings for your business.


Smarter Business negotiates supply contracts to 94 sites, securing £150,000 in savings.

Voltix Services offers a comprehensive facilities maintenance service across a range of sectors. One of their clients, a property management company, tasked Voltix Managing Director Brian Sydney with finding solutions to consolidate all the company’s water and energy contracts across its 94 sites.

Voltix decided to partner with Smarter Business to find solutions to solve the business’ water and energy challenges.

Brian says:
I’m sure you can imagine that dealing with multiple suppliers for various energy and water contracts is a time-consuming job. When Smarter Business told me they could consolidate and manage all of the energy and water contracts as well as validate historical invoices and claim any over spend, I was thrilled! Smarter Business was able to ensure the supply of energy and water to over 94 sites was managed efficiently and that the transition from the previous management service provider went smoothly. They also managed to procure a savings of £150,000. Since handing over the energy and water contracts to Smarter Business, we haven’t had any of the problems we had experienced in the past. The full package provides ongoing savings, not only in monetary value, but in time and also in ensuring energy and water efficiency.”

Let Smarter Business shop the market on your behalf. Your dedicated account manager will compare the water market to find the most competitive rates to suit your business needs. Whether consolidating larger, multi-site operations or ensuring the best contract for small, single-site enterprises, we will handle the process from quote comparison to switching so you can get on with the business of doing business.

Using a water broker like Smarter Busines means we’ll do the hard work for you. Instead of speaking to multiple water suppliers who all display their prices differently you’ll only need to speak to us – we’ll find you the most competitive deal for your business water rates.

Contact us today and let our team of experts take the hassle out of comparing small business water rates, renewing contracts, billing, and the switching process.

Curious about average business energy consumption?

Read more here.

2024 Energy Market Volatility Strategy | Smarter Business

2024’s Forecasted Energy Price Increases and the Best Way To Save  Energy Market Volatility: Take The Power Back   Wholesale energy market volatility has seen an increase in prices, with projections showing fluctuations for the remainder of the year. With anticipated...

MOP DC/DA For Business Electricity | Smarter Business

Energy Spotlight: MOP DC/DA Contracts  What Are MOPs and DC/DA and Why Are They Important?  Effective metering and timely energy data hold extensive potential benefits for businesses. These include billing accuracy, effective energy efficiency strategies, and costs...

2024 Commercial Energy Price Forecast | Smarter Business UK

2024 Commercial Energy Price Predictions  For business owners, the question on everyone’s minds is, “Will energy prices fall in 2024?” At first glance, we appear to have started strong in 2024 – with a 12% reduction in the short-term energy price forecast according to...

2024 Business Energy, Gas, Water, Facilities Maintenance

Business Energy Tips for a Strong Start In 2024    Insights To Ensure Business Utilities Are New Year Ready  As we take our first steps into the new year, it is the perfect time to get everything in line to start 2024 on the right foot. Take the time to relook at...

2023 Winter Business Energy Savings

Quick Tips for Winter Energy Worries  How To Prevent Winter Energy Woes    As winter approaches, the cost of winter energy – at home and at work – is on everyone’s minds. It’s a good time to scrutinise energy consumption with savings in mind.  The domestic energy...