Last Updated: 4 September 2020 09:15

Scottish Water’s priority is the provision of water and waste water services to its customers across the country.

As we progress through Phase 3 of the route map for moving out of lockdown, we remain 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.

Market Arrangements

Following the confirmation of WICS Deferral Scheme in 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. Please see below a 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 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 note that for routine vacancy changes LPs, unrelated to the deferral scheme, will also need to submit an application template (the BAU Vacancy Template) in order to obtain a validation code which will be needed to successfully process each transaction to the CMA.

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
  • Here for the COVID Unmeasured Template Vacancy (UNM) 

Please click here for the Declaration, a copy of which must be submitted with each batch of applications for deferral.

Three versions of a customer Undertaking (which must be provided to every customer for whom an application for deferral is submitted) and suggested covering letter explaining the deferral scheme and Undertaking are available below:

  • Please click here for the customer Undertaking and suggested covering letter where a metered or surface water drainage only customer has applied for deferral
  • Please click here for the customer Undertaking and suggested covering letter where an unmeasured customer has applied for deferral
  • Please click here for the customer Undertaking and suggested covering letter where a Licensed Provider has applied for deferral on the customer’s behalf (i.e. ‘auto-enrolment’)

The scheme is now open to applications, to Licensed Providers who have chosen options 1 or 2 set out in WICS ‘COVID-19 Measures in Support of Non-household customers - Additions to the Wholesale Deferral Scheme issued on 1 June 2020. Removal of volumetric charges for relevant unmeasured customers is available to all Licensed Providers.

  

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 were temporarily relaxed so that charges became due in the supply month to which they relate, two months later than normal.

The CMA revised their settlement timetable accordingly.

The timing of the reintroduction of prepayment will depend on which option a Licensed Provider chose following the publication of ‘COVID-19 Measures in Support of Non-household customers - Additions to the Wholesale Deferral Scheme’ by WICS on 1 June 2020. We will write to all Licensed Providers ahead of the reintroduction of prepayment confirming the timing, depending on the option they have chosen. Further details of the timetable can be found in section 9 and Annex 1 of the Guidance Document linked above.

The timing of reconciliation invoices (i.e. for R1, R2, R3 and RF settlement runs) is not affected by the temporary changes to payment terms.

Scottish Water has suspended the application of late payment interest whilst payment terms are relaxed. Interest continues 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.

These changes 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.

Physical Service

  • 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 could not be progressed pending a non-urgent field visit were put on hold.
  • Starting from 1 June, we restarted non-urgent field work, whilst maintaining social distancing. We have gradually expanded the scope of work we can undertake as we have gained further experience of working in a socially distant manner.
  • We are 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.
  • From 20 July, the registration of gap sites restarted. Supply Points will be registered from the date of notification to the CMA so that charges will not be backdated. Applications are being processed in the order received as far as possible. Site visits are being prioritised for cases where customer contact can be made and an appointment agreed in order to maximise resource and work through the outstanding volume as quickly as possible.
  • Disconnections for non-payment will restart from 21 September but we would like to take this opportunity to highlight the limitations on disconnection which are set out in the Disconnections Document, particularly in light of the continuing focus on public health measures to limit the spread of coronavirus
  • All other wholesale processes will continue to operate a BAU service where they do not require a site visit.
  • All office based staff are working from home where possible and have the necessary facilities to do so.
  • 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.

Disposal of Surplus Beer – End of Temporary Arrangements

As the hospitality sector was able to fully open in Scotland from 15 July, Scottish Water’s temporary arrangements for the discharge of surplus beer and milk to sewer ceased on 31 August. The temporary arrangements applied for applications received up to 14 August and for discharges of surplus beer or milk authorized for discharge up to 31 August.

All applications to discharge surplus beer and milk to sewer are now being handled via Licensed Providers in line with normal market arrangements.  

For further information please contact your Licensed Provider.

 

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