When reading this, bear in mind that this relates to a leased premises that does not have a water supply, and is thus NOT eligible [viz liable] for Water and Sewerage charges, but probably pays water charges of some sort through the Landlord's service charges.

Structure of an Invoice

A typical invoice consists of six elements, in three groups as follows.

  • Water Charges
    • Fixed Charge
    • Volumetric Charge [or Rateable value water charge]
  • Sewerage Charges
    • Fixed Charge
    • Volumetric Charge [or Rateable value water charge]
  • Drainage Charges
    • Property Drainage Charge [or Rateable value water charge]
    • Roads Drainage Charge [or Rateable value water charge]

Notes and comments by Scottish Water Business Stream

  • Water Charges
    • A yearly fee for the upkeep of pipes and pumps that supply your water.
    • As your property doesn’t have a meter, we calculate your water usage charge based on the rateable value (RV) of your property multiplied by the rate for the period covered.
  • Sewerage Charges
    • Yearly fee for the upkeep of external pipes and pumps that remove waste water from your property.
    • As your property doesn’t have a meter, we calculate your waste water charge based on the Rateable Value (RV) of your property multiplied by the rate for the period covered.
  • Drainage Charges
    • As you’re connected to the public water and sewerage system, you’re charged for the cost of collecting and treating rain water from your property. Charges are based on the rateable value (RV) of your property, even if you’re exempt from commercial rates. Please note we use RVs as at 31 March 2000.
    • This covers your contribution to the public roads drainage system and keeping the roads free from flooding. Charges are based on the rateable value (RV) of your property, even if you’re exempt from commercial rates. Please note we use RVs as at 31 March 2000.

Our Notes and Comments

  • Water and Sewerage Charges
    • First of course, NOT being an eligible premises, there should be no water or sewerage charges.
    • Second, even if there were, there should not be any fixed charges, as the ministerial directive implies that only volumetruic charges are allowed.
    • Third, even if there were, the charges should be rasied on metered on in the event of no meter on assesswed consumption, there being no valid relationship between ratebale value and consumption.
    • Lastly, the Landlord should be paying charges based on the metered usage to his eligible part of the prioperty - the communal toilets and or kitchens etc
  • Drainage Charges
    • There is no law on either the matter of property or roads that can be placed in front of a Sheriff. There is a very considerable volume of government discussion documents - but no law and no ministerial direction. [That can be located by Google. Scottish Government Advisers are apparently unable to specify anything either]
    • On Property Drainage, it is suggested that the Landlord should be responsible as he owns the property. 
    • On Roads Drainage, it is suggested that possibly the users of the roads should pay through fuel duty and or the road fund licence. 

The Scottish Water Business Stream Reassessment Calculator 

They say: You could save money by reassessing how much water you use. We can look at your site and make a more accurate estimate of your water use. Visit: http://www.business-stream.co.uk/water-rates-charges/reassessment-water-charges/reassessment-calculator

It looks like this [screen shot captured from a browser in April 2016 - it has been updated pre February 2018 to include an England / Scotland selector]:Business_Stream_Calculator_Fails

We say:

  • The ministerial directive implies that Rateable values shall NOT be used.
  • Despite selecting the option stating that you do NOT have a water supply, there is no option to define whether or not the premises is an eligible premises or not. The user is FORCED to accept that the premises for which re-assessment is being sought is an eligible premises with access to toilets, showers, or canteen.
  • The new version [pre February 2018] of the calculator asks if you are in Scotland or England ! Note Wales and Northern Ireland clearly have no wish to let Scottish Water Business Stream into their bailiwick ...

Thus the calculator is not only misleading, but unsuitable for its purpose.

It still needs to be corrected. English and Scottish Rules are DIFFERENT