Pub chain Marston’s, which operates more than 1,600 sites across the UK, has been granted a self-supply licence to supply its own water and wastewater services.
It is the third company in England to be granted a self-supply licence by regulator Ofwat. Whitbread and Greene King are the other two companies with the same privilege.
Andy Kershaw, head of group facilities for Marston’s, said: “This is a great opportunity for Marston’s, enabling us to drive efficiency and cost whilst working towards reducing consumption through our managed sites and breweries. It also gives us the platform to trial innovation and become an active partner in the market.”
The new open water market launched in April 2017 and is the largest of its kind in the world.
The market allows eligible companies and other organisations to self-supply and manage their own water retail services, providing an alternative to using a separate retailer and the additional costs that might entail.
Marston’s has reportedly entered a partnership agreement with Waterscan, which will take responsibility for meter reading, central market operating system transactions, wholesaler management and finding further water efficiency savings.
Waterscan also works with Whitbread and Greene King, and earlier this year issued a tender for a water retail partner on behalf of the Casual Dining Group.
Emma Kelso, Ofwat’s senior director for customers and casework, said: “Since the business retail water market opened in April, we have already seen many businesses across England taking advantage of it by shopping around for a better deal or renegotiating contracts with their existing supplier.
“Marston’s PLC are a large, multi-site business, so opting to become a self-supplier could offer them benefits, including having more control over the service they get and reducing administration costs.”