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Market Opening

More information on competition in the Water Industry in Scotland for business properties

Related Organisations

Use this page to find out more about what is happening in the water industry in Scotland.

Role of Scottish Water in the New Market Framework

Setting Up a Subsidiary

As required by the Water Services etc. (Scotland) Act 2005, Scottish Water has created Scottish Water Business Stream Ltd (SWBS), a wholly owned subsidiary. SWBS is the first Licensed Provider of water and sewerage services for non-household customers in Scotland.  SWBS took over responsibility for customer service and billing services for all non-household customers from 01 Nov 2006.

This means that if a business was an existing customer of Scottish Water, their account(s) transferred over to SWBS under the existing Customer Reference Number(s) and that business should continue to be invoiced by SWBS and make payments, including payments by direct debit, in the same way.     

Scottish Water’s Network

All water and sewerage services will continue to be supplied and collected via the Scottish Water network of pipes and drains and Scottish Water remains responsible for maintaining and investing in the network.

If you are a non-household customer paying charges for property drainage through your Licensed Provider, and you have grounds, which can be evidenced, for believing that the property does not use the public sewer network, you may make a request for a service review. Applications for such a review should be channelled through your Licensed Provider.  Scottish Water’s Guide to Surface Water Drainage can be accessed below.


Scottish Water as Wholesaler

Scottish Water’s role has changed to that of Wholesale Supplier to Licensed Providers. We no longer have a direct relationship with non-household customers for the supply of water and sewerage services.
Scottish Water will continue to provide services directly, to household customers in Scotland.

Disputes and Complaints

Scottish Water is committed to fulfilling its market obligations. Where Licensed Providers have concerns about any issues arising from the market, they can:
  1. Contact the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman or the Water Industry Commission;
  2. Contact Scottish Water’s Wholesale Account Manager for Licensed Providers; or
  3. Raise a complaint or a dispute under particular market instruments.
Disputes under the Wholesale Services Agreement, Operational Code or Market Code can be dealt with under the formal processes set out in these documents. Concerns related to the Directions on Scottish Water can be dealt with under the Scottish Water procedure for complaints below.

Utility Connections Providers Accreditation Scheme

More information on competition in the Water Industry in Scotland for business properties

Wholesale Services to Licensed Providers

The Water Services etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 provides a new framework for the industry for Wholesale suppliers