Everflow is a technology-led independent utilities company, supporting businesses across the UK with water supply and waste management services.
I founded the company in 2015, and we expanded into England in 2017 when it joined Scotland in opening its business water market for competition, meaning that non-household (NHH) customers no longer have to buy their water and wastewater services from their regional wholesaler and can shop around for better prices and service. As a result, Everflow can help save businesses money and improve their environmental impact in relation to water supply.
Through our mission to ‘make utilities simple’, we are also able to save customers time, freeing them up to focus on growing their business. Our industry first instant quoting tool, for example, is helping businesses across the UK to compare prices and find a cheaper deal.
Additionally, our water supply and waste management services are environmentally-friendly, making Everflow the UK’s first carbon neutral water supplier.
Our focus on sustainability and technology-led services have contributed to our growth of 51% year-on-year and helped to establish Everflow as the UK’s fastest growing water supplier and the third fastest growing company in Europe.
How did you come up with the idea for Everflow?
Prior to starting the company, I began my career in the water industry as an engineer. After a couple of years, I began to notice decision making in building new treatment works often wasn’t optimal and I soon realised my passion for making things simpler. At 23, I was put in charge of the Northeast division of the engineering and cost consultancy firm, Aqua Consultants, putting my passion to the test. And after a year I managed to double the division’s turnover, working with clients to produce an industry-first piece of cloud software that automated the majority of the early-stage estimation and engineering of construction projects.
I began to consider at that point that I could one day start my own company but hadn’t yet found the home for my passion. This led me to leave Aqua Consultants to join Northumbrian Water, where I worked to grow their commercial business functions and learned about the water retail market. I helped to drive the separation of Northumbrian’s business into wholesale and retail divisions.
During my time at Northumbrian Water, I had built a vision for growing a business in the industry and eventually left to pursue my goal. I approached some of my contacts to help fund what would later become Everflow. I Identified the deregulation of the water market as an interesting prospect and built Everflow around our mission to make utilities simple.
Since launching, Everflow has gained the largest number of supply points, and is leading the transformation of the market to enable things like Smart Meter rollouts and increased water efficiency.
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How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?
In 2021, we added to Everflow’s award-winning technology offering with extra modules including two finance tools which automate multiple areas of the water retail set-up, from settlement and reconciliation to a billing solution tailored to the complexities of the market. The tools make water simple for customers and retailers, reducing billing issues and inaccuracies. This not only benefits Everflow Water’s customers, but the customers of the water retailers who are using Everflow’s technology.
Earlier this year Everflow also became the UK’s first 100% carbon neutral water supplier and has since signed the SME Climate Commitment, pledging to achieve Net Zero by 2040. To support our climate pledge, we have launched the nation’s first free Business Water Efficiency certification scheme. The scheme is designed to encourage businesses to save water, in turn supporting Everflow’s net zero commitment.
The certification includes a wide range of benefits to help businesses reduce their water consumption and carbon emissions. Participating businesses will receive a report showing fully costed and personalised water efficiency recommendations, including calculations of how much water each business could save as well as the associated impact on water bills and carbon emissions.
What can we hope to see from Everflow in the future?
As well as progressing our ambition to reach net zero by 2040, our priority for the future will be diversifying the business into other services. We’ve decided to go multi-utility because we believe we can replicate our successful approach to the water market to other services starting with waste disposal and management. There are such small amounts of regulation in the market and there’s no technology used. It needs shaking up and Everflow has a blueprint to do that.
Not enough business owners look at pan-utilities and think: “how does the way I use energy impact on water and waste I produce?”. No one is joining the dots between utilities, but if they did then they could create significant operational and financial efficiencies. As a multi-utility provider, we’ll be able to identify where businesses can make those improvements.
Unsurprisingly, the more data you have the more you can benchmark yourselves against other businesses in your field.
It’s evident that the next decade will bring a stronger focus on machine learning and AI. As a business, we are also targeting as close to full automation of our utilities retail services as possible within the next ten years, allowing us as a business to focus much more of our people’s time and efforts on the other big trend that will dominate: protecting our planet and reducing utility waste. We already set ourselves up to do this when we first entered the water market and it’s vital that this translates into all other services.