Water Problems & Emergencies
What do I do in an emergency?
If there is a sudden and unplanned change affecting your clean or waste water supply, such as a burst, a leak, or no water, you should contact your wholesaler. Your wholesaler is available for emergencies 24/7 – contact details can be found here.
I have no water
It is worth speaking to neighbouring businesses to check if they also have no water before calling the wholesaler – your wholesaler will ask you to do this if they are not already aware of the incident.
I have poor pressure
Sometimes if you or a neighbouring business has had any plumbing works you can get an air lock in your pipes which can lead to lack of pressure, if you discover that they have had works then you should ask a plumber to come and check it for you and remove the air lock. Poor pressure can also be due to a problem with your water supply, please contact your wholesaler’s emergency number to be sure.
I have blocked drains or visible sewage
This is classed as an emergency, please contact your waste water wholesaler immediately.
What are my pipe responsibilities?
To find out which pipes your business is responsible for, you can read our blog.
We recommend reading your water meter regularly so you spot a leaky pipe before you’re hit with a large bill. If the meter reading is much higher than usual or the dial on your meter is spinning quickly, you may have a leak.
Switching & Quotes
What areas of the country do you cover?
Most of our customers are in the South East of England, which is where we are based. We also supply outside of this area across England and Scotland – if you are interested in using our services then do contact us.
I am interested in getting both my clean and waste water from you, how do I get a quote?
Simply fill out this form and we will get back to you within a couple of days with your quote and what you need to do next.
I would like to switch to you for my clean and waste water, do I need to contact my old supplier?
No, whether you are already a clean water customer of ours and wanting us to supply your waste water too – or if you are a totally new customer, contact us and we will sort out all the rest for you, typically switching takes 7 – 14 working days.
Do I have to pay to switch?
There are no fees for switching to us and once you have signed our agreement then you can leave at any time with 30 days’ notice, there are no exit fees. If you have signed a fixed term contract with one of our competitors, then you will need to check their terms and conditions around early exit fees.
What happens if I change my mind?
You have a seven-day cooling off period, so if you change your mind just contact us within the seven days and let us know.
If I switch to you for clean and waste water will I be stuck in a contract?
No, we believe that our service is great and we will not give you any reason to want to leave – so our Terms and Conditions just state that you need to give us one month’s notice before you leave – that is it, no hidden exit fees.
I have been contacted by a company saying that they can get a better price for my water than I can – is this true?
There are lots of companies out there who support businesses in getting the best prices for their utilities, they are called TPI’s (Third Party Intermediaries) or Brokers. We do not give these companies preferential rates, neither do we pay them a commission to use us – if asked for a quote we would give them the same price as we would give you directly, we prefer to work directly with you the customer so that you can benefit from our advice and help, but if you do decide to use a TPI we will happily give them the quote for you to see.
What exactly is the switching process if I decide to go with you?
You first need to contact us and ask for a quote, we will get that back to you in 1-2 working days. If you are happy and want to proceed, we send you our Agreement, you need to return that to us signed as soon as you can and we can start the switching process – once everyone has been informed you will receive a final bill for your waste water and clean water and then your next bill will be a combined one from us. Generally the process takes about 7-14 days.
Account & Billing
I want a copy of my bill
No problem, simply sign up to use our My Account portal where you can access your bills online and print them out as many times as you want.
If you have a single site business, register your account online. To register multiple sites, let us know by sending us an email to email@example.com, and a member of our team will register your account for you – make sure you have your customer numbers to hand!
Need help with My Account? Please see our FAQs page.
I am moving premises
If you are moving out of a premise to a new premise then you will need to contact us, you can call or email us. We will need your customer number, the date you are moving, your meter read and the details of the new premises – we’ll then sort it all out for you. If you have already moved you can fill out this quick and easy form.
My bill is larger than normal
A larger bill than normal can be a warning sign that you have a leak. To check for a leak, read your water meter while water is not being used on the premises. If the dial on the meter is spinning, this indicates a leak – please call a plumber to come and check for you.
Not experiencing a leak? Give us a call on 0345 357 2424 and a member of our team will be able to help. A larger bill than normal could also be due to an increase in employees of the installation of new equipment. Feel free to contact us at any time if you have a question or query about your bill.
How can I pay my bill?
I want to have EDI billing - can you provide this?
Yes, we can, if you would like EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) billing then you just need to contact us to arrange this. EDI is typically used by larger public sector customers.
What is in the My Account portal?
My Account can be used by businesses that have single and multiple sites. It gives you secure access to view and manage account preferences, view, export and pay bills, sign up for Direct Debit, view meter readings, find your meter, submit meter readings, export metering data, as well as register for additional services such as waste water.
To learn more about My Account, please visit our FAQs page.
What are your service levels?
Click here to see our service levels.
I'm being billed based on Rateable Value
If you do not have a water meter, you will be charged based on the Rateable Value of the property. Unfortunately, you cannot change your rateable value and neither can your water retailer.
We believe charging water bills on a meter is fairer and makes billing much easier for our customers to understand. This is why we recommend our customers to consider paying for a meter to be installed. Once you have a meter, you’ll only pay for the water that you use and it may also help you to save money off your bills.
If you would like a meter installed, please contact us to let us know and we’ll arrange a quote for a survey with your relevant wholesaler. Please note, you may need to pay your wholesaler for both the survey and installation charges.
What is the Rateable Value?
Until 31 March 1990 the rateable value of your property was used by local authorities to calculate the general rates payable for each property. The rateable value was set by the Valuation Officer, who is an Executive Officer of the Inland Revenue. The rateable value was first replaced by the Community Charge and this was subsequently replaced in 1992 by the Council Tax. Rateable value has no effect on your council tax and changes in your council tax banding will not affect your rateable value.
The Open Water Market for Business
How does the market work?
Traditionally, water companies have been integrated organisations supplying water, treating wastewater and providing customer service. From April 2017, this all changed. Water companies have been divided into:
Wholesalers – who supply their household customers with water and wastewater services, operate their water supply and sewerage networks for all customers and handle operational emergencies.
Retailers – who supply their non-household customers with water and wastewater services providing services to customers, including reading meters, billing and answering customer inquiries.
Affinity for Business is a Clean and Waste Water Retailer.
What is Open Water?
The national Open Water programme is managed by DEFRA, Ofwat, and the Market Operator Services Ltd (MOSL). MOSL is responsible for the nationwide technology system that enables customers to switch between retailers now the market is open.
Why has this been introduced?
The Government believes that introducing competition in water and waste water retailing will benefit non-household customers by:
Improving service levels
- Increasing the flexibility of services
- Delivering better value for money
- Enabling customers to choose a retailer that best meets their need
The Water Act 2014 paved the way by enabling the creation of a new competitive retail market for water and sewerage services to eligible business customers i.e. businesses, charities and public sector organisations.
How does competition work?
The new retail market for water and waste water works like many other utility markets such as telecoms, electricity and gas.
The existing water companies have become wholesalers who supply water and waste water removal to retailers. Retailers, such as Affinity for Business, compete for water and/or sewerage customers (depending on the retail licence they hold) and package up the physical supply of water and the removal of waste water with a range of other retail services.
Retailers pay the wholesalers for the water their non-household customers use and the waste water they put back into the sewer and drainage networks. Retailers then bill their customers for the water and/or waste water plus any additional value-added services they provide.
Non-household customers can change their retailer at any time, if an alternative provider offers a better price or improved service, for example.