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Only a tiny fraction of small businesses in the East have switched water provider since deregulation this April

PUBLISHED: 11:59 01 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:36 01 September 2017

Pic: Thinkstock

Pic: Thinkstock

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Only a tiny fraction of small businesses in the East of England have switched water providers since the market was deregulated this April, according to a survey conducted by Stowmarket-based utilities software company Wheatley.

The poll of 500 SMES across the UK found that although 58% of these businesses in the East were aware of the water market’s deregulation, only 4% had actually switched.

This is in stark contrast to London where 38% of SMES have changed provider.

Water solutions manager at Wheatley, Simon Murray, said: “The results indicate that SME’s are primarily tempted to switch by lower prices, which matches customer behaviour in the wider energy sector. 77% of respondents rated price as ‘extremely influential’ or ‘very influential’ in their decision to change water retailer. More still needs to be done to raise awareness and promote the benefits of switching to all sizes of business to ensure customers are getting the best value possible.”

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