Nottingham City Council set to make savings by supplying its own water

Posted: Tuesday 20th August 2019

Nottingham City Council is set to begin supplying water services to its own buildings from Wednesday 14 August to create savings on the authority’s bills and water consumption.

Changes in the water industry allow businesses and organisations to choose how they receive water supply and wastewater services, and the City Council has chosen to become its own supplier. This does not involve creating a new company and will not affect households – only the council’s own operational buildings.

The new arrangement will see the council’s Energy Services team taking over responsibility for the council’s water services from Wednesday 14 August, when the official switchover happens. The main aim is to reduce operating costs and increase resource efficiency.

Ahead of the switchover, Energy Services has worked closely with market operators and regulatory bodies MOSL and Ofwat to develop plans for the new operation. The Water Self-Supply Licence allows the council to buy water directly from the wholesaler Severn Trent Water - removing the retailer aspect - in order to manage its own water payments.

In addition to the self-supply model, Energy Services is launching its Water Efficiency Loan Scheme (WELS). The scheme aims to invest in water efficiency projects across the council’s buildings to further increase savings to the annual water spend, with an estimated saving of 10% a year.

Nottingham will be the first council to run its own water services in-house, saving the council an estimated £64,000 a year – with further efficiencies expected through the WELS improvements. This will benefit the city, ultimately with cheaper running costs for community spaces such as leisure centres and libraries, which helps to protect the council’s front line services for local people.

Deputy Leader, Councillor Sally Longford, said: “Becoming a water self-supplier is an exciting next step for us as we seek to further reduce costs through innovative resource efficiency across our own estate.

As a large consumer of water, we are looking forward to having more control over this vital resource and will be looking for ways to use water more efficiency to lower costs and improve our environmental performance. We can streamline the service, cut out the margin that goes to others in the supply chain and plough the savings back into further resource efficiency projects.

Energy Services are an award winning team at the forefront of innovation within the energy sector, and with so much success delivering energy efficiency projects related to gas and electricity, this step into the water market was the next logical one for us as a council.”

Wayne Bexton, Head of Energy Services at Nottingham City Council, said: “The development of Nottingham City Council's Water Self Supply License provides a fantastic opportunity to broaden and strengthen our experience in the energy sector; making business and financial sense.

The team have been working hard on this project for a number of months, ensuring that we have everything in place to make this initiative a success. We are extremely proud to be the first council who will run its own water service in-house.

The reduction of operating costs for the council, allows us to share the benefits with our citizens by investing in further innovative projects to better our services. The move also supports our wider ambition of becoming a carbon neutral city by 2028.”

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September 2019

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