Consultation for Water and Sewerage Charges: Charges for Vacant Non-household Properties

This paper seeks to obtain views on proposed changes to charging for vacant non-household properties.

Purpose of Engagement

The availability of wholesome drinking water and the safe disposal of wastewater are crucial to public health and a clean environment. In summer 2012 we asked stakeholders to give us their views on the improvements required to services and how customers should pay for the water and wastewater services provided. In that consultation, and subsequently in the Principles of Charging Statement [1] issued on 1 October 2014, we noted that we would consult on policies regarding the charging of vacant non-household properties. Non-household properties include all premises such as those that are owned or leased by businesses, public sector or similar organisations that are not classed as "dwellings" and for which water and sewerage charges are collected by licensed water and sewerage providers. Such properties may also be known as "eligible premises" or "non-dwellings".

This paper invites customers and stakeholders to consider the case for change - in particular:

What are the key principles which should apply to charging of vacant non-household properties; and

When should any new arrangements take effect?

This paper is in 2 parts:

Part 1 provides the background. In particular it sets out the origins of the current arrangements and presents an analysis of the shortcomings; and

Part 2 sets out the Government's proposals.

Consultation Arrangements

The Government appreciates that businesses are responding to the squeeze on household budgets and are therefore keen to ensure that the costs of doing business are kept to a minimum. It is keen to receive views and comments from:

  • Businesses;
  • Representative organisations;
  • Licensed Water and Sewerage Providers; and
  • Water industry stakeholders.

Written comments on any elements of the proposals should be provided in the relevant sections of the respondent form at Annex A . Should you wish to discuss these proposals with officials, please indicate this in your response. The closing date for responses is Monday 10 August 2015. We would welcome early responses.

Your responses will be used to inform decisions on when and under what conditions the owners of vacant non-household properties should be charged for water and sewerage services.


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