April 2022 mains water supply price rises – what your school needs to know

Schools are already suffering from the recent dramatic increases in electricity and gas prices.  The price of another utility, water, is soon to increase.  Here’s what your need to know and what your school can do to avoid ever-increasing water rates.

In April 2022, the cost of mains supply water to schools will increase for two reasons, an underlying inflationary increase in the cost of maintaining the water network and a one-off price increase introduced by Ofwat in response to COVID-19. Let’s start with the first:

Increases in the wholesale cost of water

The cost of maintaining and operating the water network increases every year through the twin effects of population growth and global warming. The increase in the wholesale price of water is passed on to homes and businesses across the country.  On average wholesale water rates will increase by 1.7% from the 1st of April, with the exact change depending on your region.

Increase in retail fees in response to the Coronavirus

Most English schools have never switched water suppliers and pay default rates on a deemed contract.  Over the last two years, business water suppliers have suffered increasing levels of bad debt caused by COVID-19.  To protect the industry and avoid suppliers going out of business Ofwat is allowing business water suppliers a one-off increase in their default retail fee.

How schools can avoid the increase in water rates

The one-off increase in retail fees only applies to default water rates.  Schools can avoid the rates increase by agreeing to a fixed-rate water contract.  Commercial water contracts work the same way as for electricity and gas, with lots of business energy suppliers competing for prices.

The English commercial water market deregulated in 2017, and competition in the water market has gradually increased.  English schools can now save thousands by comparing the water market and switching to a more competitive tariff.

Compare business water rates today with AquaSwitch, the UK’s leading commercial water price comparison website.


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