Water and wastewater services for Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
For business

Historical information about the market

What this means for non-household customers

This means that, unless you notified us otherwise, a new water and wastewater services provider, Business Stream, is now supplying your customer services such as billing. If your water or wastewater was previously supplied by a company other than Southern Water, these services will have not transferred to Business Stream. If you have a query about the services offered by your other provider please contact them directly.

Business Stream is a specialist non-household water retailer in the UK. For more information about the company, please see the guide or visit www.business-stream.co.uk/SouthernWater.

What this means for household customers

Southern Water will continue to look after its household customers. This decision will enable Southern Water to focus on additional service improvements for its household customers, which represent 95% of its retail business.

  1. Why is Southern Water selling its non-household retail business? 
    • After careful consideration, Southern Water has decided that selling its non-household retail business offers the best solution for our customers.

      Business Stream is a specialist business retailer that has been at the forefront of the competitive market in Scotland.

      This deal will create the third biggest company in the UK non-household market, providing customers with a competitive and personalised offering.
  2. What does 'wholesale' mean? 
    • The ‘wholesale’ part of the water industry is not being opened for competition in April 2017. This means that Southern Water will continue to operate the network of pipes, mains and treatment works.

      As a wholesaler, Southern Water will sell water and sewerage services to the companies who enter the retail market. In some instances, Wholesalers will still need to interact directly with customers. For example, customers will still contact Southern Water to report leaks.
  3. What does 'retail' mean? 
    • 'Retail' refers to the way in which customers are billed for their water and sewerage as well as customer services including meter reading.

      It is only this part of the water industry which is being opened as a competitive market in April 2017 and non-household retail represents only a very small part of our business - approximately 105,000 customers.
  4. What does Non-household (NHH) mean? 
    • Non-household includes businesses, from factories to shops, churches, universities, charities and public sector organisations.
  5. How will we be informing customers? 
    • From June 2016 we will begin informing our customers through a number of communications activities, including via our website, and through local business groups like the Chambers of Commerce and the media.
  6. How will this impact on Household customers? 
    • Market Reform will not impact on our household customers. We will continue to serve our household customers in the same way we do today.

      Ofwat is currently undertaking a review of the introduction of retail competition to domestic/residential customers. This review will consider the cost benefit of introducing competition with a report due in September.

      Should the government wish to implement household retail competition, it is unlikely to be introduced before 2020.
  7. I am a Southern Water non-household customer, do I need to do anything? 
    • In most cases this change will happen automatically and customers will not have to do anything. We will inform our non-household customers of any action they need to take.
  8. Am I no longer a Southern Water customer? 
    • You remain our non-household customer until the new market opens, which is expected to be in April 2017.
  9. Who do I call if I have a billing query? 
    • If you have a query about your bill before April 2017 you will call Southern Water. After that date you will contact Business Stream. New contact details will be sent to you before April.
  10. Who do I call if I have a leak or there is a problem such as flooding? 
    • If you have a problem such as a leak or flooding, you can still contact Southern Water directly.
  11. What does this mean if I am only a Southern Water customer for sewerage services? 
    • This will only affect your Southern Water bills. Please contact your water company directly if you have any questions about their bill.

Additional sources of information

If you would like more information about the new competitive market the following sources of information are available to you:


If you would like to find out if you are eligible to switch and how these changes might affect you, contact us using the form below. We aim to respond to queries within 5 working days but in some cases this may extend to 10 working days.

Your query


Let us know the best time for us to call (Monday to Friday) by ticking one or more of the boxes below.

Please click the Submit button to send your request to Southern Water. You'll be able to print a confirmation copy for your records.

  Close box