Last Updated: 01 June 2020 14:45
Scottish Water’s priority is the provision of water and waste water services to its customers across the country.
As the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) develops, we are focused on ensuring we do everything possible to keep the water flowing whilst maintaining the wellbeing, safety and health of our employees and our customers.
Water UK has published a guide for businesses on recovering drinking water supplies after a prolonged period of inactivity. It can be found here.
Following the issue of WICS Deferral Scheme consultation on 4 May, Scottish Water has worked with the Commission and the CMA to develop more detailed guidance for Licensed Providers on how to use the Wholesale Charges Deferral Scheme and how it will operate in practice. Please see below a working draft guidance document setting out:
- the application process
- how deferrals will be applied in the Central Systems
- the timetable
- process for unwinding.
Please click here for the Guidance Document.
A draft technical document provides further details on the format of submissions and the validation which will be applied by Scottish Water along with copies of the application templates.
Please click here for the Technical Document and:
- Here for the COVID Vacancy Template
- Here for the COVID Fixed Charges Template
- Here for the BAU Vacancy Template
As signalled in the Commission’s consultation conclusions issued on 11th May, the scheme opened to applications on Thursday 14th May.
Whilst the policy approach of the scheme will be as set out in the Commission’s consultation and Directions, we will work with Licensed Providers where possible to make the operational approach as practical as possible for all parties.
Where a customer wishes to exit the scheme(s) prior to the official scheme end date they are entitled to do so. The Licensed Provider must inform Scottish Water of each scheme the customer wishes to exit from.
- Please click here for the template to exit the COVID Vacancy Scheme
- Please click here for the template to exit the COVID Fixed Charges Scheme
We would be happy to discuss any queries which can be raised via your Account Manager in the first instance.
For Frequently Asked Questions, please click here.
Changes to payment terms for wholesale charges
The Scottish Government announced measures to support the water market and business customers in light of the economic impact of the coronavirus in late March. From April, wholesale payment terms have been temporarily relaxed so that charges will become due in the supply month to which they relate, two months later than at present.
The next provisional invoice, in respect of June 2020 charges, would ordinarily have been issued on the 13th April. The June 2020 provisional invoice will now be deferred by two months and will instead be issued on 11 June and payable on 17 June.
The CMA have revised their settlement timetable so that the June 2020 P1 settlement report will now be issued on 9 June, 2 months later than currently scheduled.
Subsequent provisional invoices will be issued and due on the same timescales, until further notice. The timing of reconciliation invoices (i.e. for R1, R2, R3 and RF settlement runs) will not be affected.
Scottish Water will suspend the application of late payment interest. Interest will also continue to be paid to Licensed Providers on any wholesale charges which have been paid in advance, in accordance with clause 8.8.2 of the Wholesale Services Agreement.
We have written to all Licensed Providers confirming these changes, which have been made to recognise the extraordinary pressures being placed on many businesses and the knock-on effect they will have on the cashflow of Licensed Providers. The intention is to ensure that business customers impacted by the current economic pressures benefit appropriately from these measures.
Suspension of Performance Standard Charges
The CMA Board has taken the decision, under section 6.2.3 of the Market Code, to suspend all Performance Standard Charges. This suspension will apply retrospectively for the period January – March 2020 and will continue until further notice.
- At the start of the lockdown Scottish Water announced that we would only visit customers’ premises to deal with urgent operational issues affecting water and sewerage services. During this time, any operational requests which cannot be progressed pending a non-urgent field visit have been put on hold.
- Starting from 1 June, we restarted some non-urgent field work, whilst maintaining social distancing. This is likely to be mainly external work and non-intrusive surveys in the first instance but we will keep under review as we gain further experience of working in a socially distant manner.
- We will be prioritising outstanding work at business premises which are currently open and trading. Any information from Licensed Providers which would help identify such businesses would be very helpful.
- Temporary disconnections and the registration of gap sites will remain suspended at this time.
- All other wholesale processes will continue to operate a BAU service where they do not require a site visit. SW is currently working to maintain services with incident command structures in place to plan for the potential impact of the coronavirus.
- All office based staff are working from home where possible and have the necessary facilities to do so.
- We have published our position on surplus milk and beer disposal - you can find it here.
- As the situation develops or in the event of further government guidance, we will prioritise services with planned and non-essential activity paused in order to support critical services. We will notify LPs if any further changes to services become necessary.
Normal points of contact continue:
- The Wholesale Service Desk for operational contacts from Licensed Providers
- Scottish Water’s Customer Service Centre (0800 0778 778 or via www.scottishwater.co.uk) for potential public health contacts from business end customers
- Account Managers for any other queries