Edinburgh water firm Business Stream hails £32 million savings

Business Stream, the Edinburgh-based water retailer that forms part of Scottish Water, claims to have saved its customers across the UK almost £32 million over the past year.

The total annual savings for 2021/22 include in excess of £15m in customer discounts and some £2m in energy savings for its customers, according to new figures released by the company.

Nearly £15m of water savings were delivered through the firm’s water efficiency services, which include the use of digital monitoring systems to proactively monitor water use even when customers are offsite.

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Over the past five years, Business Stream is said to have saved its customers an average of just under £30m per year and, since 2008, the firm has saved its customers more than £335m through discounts and efficiencies and over 57 billion litres of water – the equivalent of nearly 23,000 Olympic sized swimming pools.

Jo Dow, chief executive of Business Stream, said: “As a water retailer, we’re committed to delivering financial and environmental savings to our customers. And we recognise that this is more important now than ever before given the current economic climate and the growing need to urgently address the climate crisis.

“By reducing water consumption, businesses and public sector organisations can lower their water and energy bills and limit their impact on the environment. We’re proud of the savings we’ve delivered and will continue to work with our customers to help generate further savings in the year ahead.”

Business Stream is the largest operator in the Scottish non-domestic water market. The firm - a wholly-owned subsidiary of Scottish Water with its own board and management team - acquired the non-household customer base of Southern Water in preparation for the English retail water market.

Headquartered in Edinburgh, it also has a presence in Worthing and Bradford, and employs about 350 people.

Jo Dow, chief executive of Business Stream, outside the firm's Edinburgh Park offices.

The water retailer recently announced that it had saved Scotland’s public sector more than £2m in water costs during the second year of its three-year contract. The financial savings equate to 1.4 billion litres of water being saved.

In addition, the reduction in water use has delivered energy savings, helping the sector to save 586,000 tonnes of carbon.

Business Stream was awarded the Scottish Government public sector water and waste water framework contract in early 2020. The contract, worth around £200m over three years, covers Scottish public sector bodies including local authorities, NHS Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue, Police Scotland, Scottish Prison Service, universities and colleges and the Scottish Government.

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In June, Business Stream set new targets after cutting its carbon emissions by a quarter over the past year.

Over the period, the firm has implemented measures to make it more energy efficient and introduced new processes to generate environmental savings, which have included reducing the number of pages in its bills, installing more energy efficient air conditioning units and moving its servers to the cloud.

To accelerate its plans to achieve net zero, the firm launched a second pledge to reduce its carbon emissions by a further 20 per cent by April 2023.

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