Understanding your business water bill is the first step toward reducing your commercial water rates. Many companies are still unaware that they can switch business water suppliers since the market was deregulated in 2017.
This means that 1.2 million businesses in the UK are able to switch to a new business water supplier and explore the possibility of paying cheaper water rates. The market helps deliver lower commercial water bills, helps organisations use less water and encourages better service.
We’ve created this guide to help increase awareness in business circles about the possibility of switching commercial water suppliers, and how understanding your water bill can help.
How Is Business Water Charged?
First up, and possibly one of the most important factors, is understanding what you’re actually charged for. We can hazard a guess that you’re going to be charged for your water usage, and you would be correct but there’s slightly more to it than that.
Getting the obvious out of the way first, you will be charged for the supply of fresh water to your business premises. This charge depends on how much water your building uses. If your business premises is unmetered, the charge will be calculated on the rateable value of the premises.
There’s also a charge for the removal of used water that goes into the sewer system. These wastewater charges apply to any premises that have a connection to the sewer system.
How Is Your Business Water Bill Calculated?
We’ve established what charges are involved in your business water bill, and now here’s the breakdown of the charges.
Volume Charge - this is a charge based on the amount of water that has been used by the business. The charge per cubic meter is determined by two things; the location of your business premises and the charges applied by your water supplier.
Fixed/ Standing Charge - you will be charged a standard fee by your supplier to cover the costs of reading and maintaining your commercial water meter.
The calculation for your water charge is as follows: standing charge + (volume of water used x volume rate) = your water charge.
How Is Your Wastewater Bill Calculated?
There’s often some confusion around this charge. There are a couple more elements to be considered in this calculation. We’ll break it down below.
Volume Charge - as you have probably guessed, you will be charged for the amount of water you have returned to the sewerage system. This charge is estimated based on the amount of water that originally entered the premises.
Fixed/ Standing Charge - there’s a charge associated with maintaining the pipes that connect your premises to the local sewerage system. The costs are usually calculated based on the size of the building.
Return To Sewerage Charge - finally there’s an estimated charge of how much water has been removed as wastewater. The factor is assumed at 100% by most water suppliers (what goes in, must come out!).
The calculation for your wastewater charge is as follows: standing charge + (volume of water used x volume rate x return to sewerage charge) = wastewater charge.