Charges on Vacant Premises

The removal of the exemption on water charges for vacant, non-domestic properties came into effect on 1st April 2017.

This change in legislation means it is now the responsibility of a property’s owner, or its appointed landlord, to pay water, sewerage and drainage charges whilst the property is vacant.

The charges are being introduced because vacant properties benefit from connection to water and sewerage services (particularly drainage) and should therefore contribute to upkeep of the network. These costs are currently paid for by other customers, if everyone pays their share towards maintaining the water network in Scotland then it will help keep bills down for all customers.

Removal of the exemption is expected to generate £15 million a year in additional wholesale revenue for Scottish Water and help to reduce the need for increases in charges.  Without such a move, it is estimated that charges would have to increase by 5% over the period to 2021.

There are currently around 22,500 commercial premises classified as vacant in the Scottish water market (as at the start of April). Removal of this exemption could have a significant impact on the owners and landlords of these properties.

You can find out more about the changes by visiting the Scottish Government’s website

We want to reassure our customers that if the new charges apply to them we will do our best to help keep their bills as low as possible.

What charges will apply to vacant premises?

Water charges are applied in the same way as those for an occupied property. This includes:

  • Fixed water and waste water charges
  • Roads and Property drainage (Surface water drainage)

For premises that are on a metered supply charges for any water usage recorded by your water meter will also apply. For those premises where usage is charged on an unmetered or assessed basis no volumetric charges will be applied.

Brightwater’s ‘vacant property’ tariff

In response to the new legislation; Brightwater can offer landlords and property managers a bespoke ‘vacant property’ tariff that will help reduce the costs of water services for any period of time that their premises are left unoccupied.

In addition to offering savings on all chargeable services, our vacant tariff also has no minimum contract term and no termination penalties.

Why choose Brightwater

We are dedicated to providing value and a high level of service to our customers. We offer competitive pricing on water services, and are committed to helping our customers use less water.

We help businesses identify ways to become more water efficient and reduce their consumption. Not only does this help make further savings but can also reduce their carbon footprint and have a positive impact on our environment.

Want to find out more?

Just get in touch, a member of the team will be happy to discuss the best options for your premises.