Changes to unmeasured water and sewerage charges for businesses

Last updated: 11 July 2017

Water, sewerage and drainage charges are payable by occupiers of businesses (also known as non-domestic premises) which are connected whether directly or indirectly to public networks. Unmeasured charges, such as property and roads drainage, are calculated by reference to rateable values.

Changes to rateable values

From 1 April 2018, unmeasured water and sewerage charges will be calculated by reference to the same rateable value as business rates.
Currently, historic rateable values are used, these date back to either:

  • when the property was built
  • when the property was last modified
  • 1995

The value is based on whichever is the most recent date.

Increases in charges for some businesses will be offset by reductions for others.

Unmeasured charges

Unmeasured charges are those that are not calculated by reference to a meter. In Scotland, all business drainage charges are calculated on an unmeasured basis and are calculated by reference to a property's rateable value. In addition, some businesses will pay water and sewerage charges by reference to the property's rateable value where Scottish Water has been unable to install a meter.

Transition arrangements

Transition arrangements will cover the years 2018-19 and 2019-20. From 1 April 2020, all businesses will be charged based on their current rateable value (the 2017 rateable value) and the same poundage rates (pence per pound).

How your charges are calculated

The poundage rates for all services that use rateable values as part of the calculation will change.

It's expected that property and roads drainage poundage rates will decrease by around 30%. This means that businesses that see their rateable value (as used by the water industry) increase by less than 40% should benefit from lower water industry charges.Overall it is expected that roughly:

  • 60% of businesses will see a decrease in their bills
  • 40% will see an increase in their bills

Businesses which have the most dated rateable values will see the largest increases.

More information

More information can be found on the Scottish Government's website. If you have questions about your bill or your meter, please contact your Licensed Provider.