The Scottish Government has announced that current Rateable Values will be used to calculate unmeasured water and sewerage charges. Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has confirmed that these changes will take effect from April 2018.

The water industry currently uses historic Rateable Values to calculate unmeasured charges, such as property and road drainage. For most non-household customers, these are different to those in the current valuation roll and from those that are used to calculate Business Rates.

Mr Mackay said:

“The use of historic Rateable Values by the water industry to calculate unmeasured charges is simply unfair. The Rateable Values date back to when the property was built, last modified, or 1995 – whichever is the most recent. This has meant that there can be significant differences between the amounts charged for properties with the same Rateable Value in the current valuation roll.

“By moving to the current Rateable Values, as established following the 2017 revaluation, we estimate that 57% of non-household customers will see a decrease in their bills, with those seeing an increase likely to be those for whom a very old Rateable Value is currently being used.

A transition period will commence from April 2018 covering the years until April 1 2020, at which point all non-household customers will be charged more fairly for their unmeasured water services based on their current Rateable Value.”

Background

Unmeasured charges are those that are not calculated by reference to a meter. In Scotland, all non-household drainage charges are calculated on an unmeasured basis and are calculated by reference to a property’s Rateable Value. In addition, some non-household customers will pay water and sewerage charges by reference to the property’s Rateable Value where Scottish Water has been unable to install a meter.

This follows our announcement on 30 June 2016 regarding the introduction of charging for water services at vacant business premises from April 2017 and completes the programme of changes to water industry charging that were identified in Scottish Minister’s Principles for Charging for 2015-21 as published on 1 October 2014 - Click here. 

More information can be found on the Scottish Government’s website.

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