Modernising the Water Industry's Use of Rateable Value to Charge Non-Households for Water and Sewerage Services

This paper seeks to obtain views on charging for water and sewerage services with reference to rateable value.

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 Autumn 2014, we set out the improvements that Scottish Water must deliver to services during the period 2015-21. We also set how customers should pay for the water and wastewater services provided in a Statement on the Principles of Charging for Water Services [3] issued on 1 October 2014.

In that statement we noted that from a date to be specified by Ministers, the Rateable Values most recently assigned by the Assessor must be used by the water industry to calculate surface water drainage charges for non-household premises as well as water and sewerage charges at non-household premises that are not metered.

Non-household premises include all properties such as those that are owned or leased by businesses and 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 most appropriate way for the water industry to make this change - in particular:

  • The date from which the most recent Rateable Values should be used; and
  • The case for transition arrangements.

This paper is in 3 parts:

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

Part 2 sets out the Government's proposals; and

Part 3 explains what the Government wants to know.

Consultation Arrangements

The Government appreciates that businesses are responding to the squeeze on household budgets and is 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 aspect 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 23 September 2016. We would welcome early responses.

Your responses will be used to inform decisions on the timing of the move to use the most recent Rateable Values for the purposes of calculating some water and sewerage charges and any transitional arrangements.


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