Lloyd’s Register launches new scheme for UK water market service companies

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LR surveyor
Lloyd’s Register now provides a WIRS Accredited Entity scheme for UK water market service companies

Safety engineering and technology provider Lloyd’s Register (LR) has launched a new Accredited Entity (AE) scheme for disconnections and metering activity that will further help encourage competition in the UK water services market.

Known as the Water Industry Registration Scheme – Accredited Entity (WIRSAE), the scheme has seven scopes for providers performing temporary disconnections/reconnections, permanent disconnection and metering activities for the non-domestic water market in England and Wales. LR already operates the WIRS scheme for self-lay organisations.

Once accredited, WIRSAE providers can carry out retailers’ water supply disconnections and meter installation and replacements instead of relying on the wholesaler.

The new scheme has been under preparation for two years after Anglian Water and Bristol Water approached LR, when they realised a new accredited entity scheme was needed to support the UK’s retail water market programme, Open Water. The Wholesale Retail market codes allowed for accredited entities, but there was not a suitable single existing scheme available in England and Wales. Without one scheme, potential accredited entities would have to register and become accredited to many different schemes.

“We are pleased to be the first wholesaler to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to recognise and support this scheme,” said Simon Bennett, Bristol Water. “In our view, WIRSAE will allow for further competition in this market”

The goal is for all water wholesalers in England and Wales to sign up for the WIRSAE scheme by June 2018. Bennett added: “Bristol Water currently has 17 retailers working within their area of supply. Once a company is assessed and confirmed as an AE they can then be used by the retailer to work on our assets”.

The scheme is operated by LR on behalf of the Wholesalers and Retailers in England and Wales. All wholesalers who recognise the new AE scheme are listed on the LR website.

To apply or for more information on WIRSAE accreditation, click here.