Fifty more jobs are on the way to Hartlepool thanks to an energy broker.
Town-based Utility Alliance is planning the boost ahead of the water market deregulation in England next year.
In the past businesses have had to go to their local supplier for water, but this deregulation will throw open the whole market and from November we will be in a position to start signing up customers ahead of the new system coming into play.Darren Sutherland
The firm specialises in helping organisations to take a closer look at their energy use in the gas and electric markets. It helps companies make savings and lower their carbon footprint.
With the water market being deregulated in 2017, the specialist is one of only a handful of UK companies that will now be able to help businesses shop around for a better deal when the new system comes into force.
The recruitment drive has begun for 50 staff to specialise in water provision.
Darren Sutherland, Chief Executive Officer at Utility Alliance, said: “This is something which has been talked about for a while, and we have looked at water provision as part of our business plan.
“We will create 50 new positions from this, and they will all be trained to get the best possible deals for our business clients.
“In the past businesses have had to go to their local supplier for water, but this deregulation will throw open the whole market and from November we will be in a position to start signing up customers ahead of the new system coming into play.
“A lot of businesses have been paying the top tariff for their water – which includes waste water and drainage – for the last 20 years, but things will suddenly become a lot more competitive as of April next year.”
Darren added: “Scotland deregulated in 2008, and all of the feedback since then has been extremely positive in terms of not just the delivery of water but in a general improvement of efficiency.
“Businesses up there have saved more than £60m, and there has been a 16 billion litre reduction in overall usage.
“Since gas and electricity were deregulated for businesses there have been huge amounts of savings, and there isn’t reason why that can’t be the case with water.”
Utility set up in 2015 and turned over £1m of contracts in its first year,