Did you know that Scottish Water has a scheme to support charities by reducing the cost of water and wastewater services? Amidst all the uncertainty and fear circulating at the moment, a rebate could be very helpful. Whether you are applying for the first time or making use of the Water Rates Exemption scheme already, read on for some important information about your charges.
31 March 2020 is the deadline for all exemption applications for the period April 2019 to March 2020
If your application is successful, the rates you pay for water, wastewater and drainage will be adjusted for the entire year. Any bills you have received from your supplier for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2020 will be re-calculated based on your exemption status.
If you have already been part of the exemption scheme, please take note that you must renew your application each year.
What happens if I miss the deadline for applying or renewing?
Scottish Water won’t accept applications after this date, so you will have missed it for that year. If you’re looking to renew, rather than apply, your charitable exemption status won’t automatically roll over, and in fact, your organisation will automatically switch to a standardised rate.
This is a situation recognised only too well by St Mary’s RC church in Arisaig in the Scottish Highlands. The church had missed the exemption applications and as a result, were set on an incorrect tariff. Not only were they entitled to full water rate exemption but were overcharged on a tariff for a busy restaurant, rather than a small church. Over the years they gained over £4000 in extra fees.
What happened to St Mary’s is not a stand-alone case. It is entirely avoidable so please ensure your water provider has investigated this for you.
Is my organisation eligible for Scottish Water’s rate exemption scheme?
The exemption scheme is open across the whole of Scotland. If your organisation is a charity, then the following criteria is in place for the scheme:
- All charities must have registered with OSCR (The Scottish Charity Regulator)
- Charities with an income below £200,000 per year could be eligible for full water rate exemptions
- A partial exemption rate is available for Scottish charities with an annual income of £200,000 to £300,000
- Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) are also eligible to apply for exemption, more details can be found on the Scottish Water website.
Next steps for applying for water rate exemptions
- As an organisation you can’t directly apply for the exemption scheme. It must be submitted to Scottish Water by your water company (licenced provider) – so contacting your current supplier is the first step.
What to do if your water provider has not managed this process for you
Is this all news to you? You should have received information from your current provider on the deadline and the impact charges have on your organisation.
The good news is that here is still time for an application to be submitted. Contact your current provider immediately so that an application can be submitted before deadline of 31 March 2020.
If you’ve missed the deadline and feel uninformed or undervalued by your current supplier, then it might be time to consider switching to a new provider.
Making the switch to a provider who values your business
There’s plenty of room for you here at Brightwater. We’d love to talk to you about how our service can add value to the important work that you do.
We’ll walk you through the steps to switch you over in just one call – during which, we’ll update you on everything you need to know about applying for, or renewing, your charitable exemption.
Give us a call – we can’t wait to meet you.