We’re delighted to confirm that the Government contribution of £50 reduction on household bills will be applied until 2020.
The reduction is aimed to address the unfairness of 3% of the nation’s population in our region supporting the £2 billion Clean Sweep clean-up of a third of the country’s bathing waters.
The £50 on your bill
- The reduction applies to billed, household customers within our service area. It’s a £50 reduction and not linked to how much water you use.
- The reduction will be deducted from your bills and show as ‘Government Contribution’
- If your bill is £50 or more in a full charging year, the reduction will show as £50.
- If you are on a meter, the reduction will be calculated on a daily basis at the rate of 13.7p per day and applied to all bills during the year.
- Therefore, annual bills will show the full £50 reduction and part year bills will show an apportioned discount based on the number of days the bill covers.
- If your bill is less than £50 a year, you’ll receive a reduction up to the amount you pay.
What it’s about?
It grew out of the findings of the Walker Review into affordability and charges in the water industry in 2009. This highlighted the historically high level of charges in the South West and in particular recognised the 'unfairness' of three per cent of the population of England and Wales paying for the clean-up of a third of all the country's bathing waters.
Government pledge for action
In 2011, the former Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Chancellor all pledged action to tackle the unfairness and special legislation was passed through Parliament in Spring 2012, giving South West Water up to £40 million annually to reduce household bills by £50 from 2013.
Former Prime Minister David Cameron told the Western Morning News: "I understand the unfairness that people feel in the South West that they are paying a lot of money so that there are clean beaches for people like me from Oxfordshire to come and play on."
An agreement on implementing the reduction was signed by South West Water and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in November 2012. None of the money will be retained by South West Water, it will all be passed onto qualifying customers.
The Walker Review 2009:
- DEFRA - The independent review of charging for household water and sewerage services
- The Walker Review 2009
News and reports:
- Water UK - Review of charging for household water and sewerage services
- Parliamentary briefing - Water bills in the South West
If you’re on a joint supply
If you share a water supply and pay us on behalf of your neighbours, the £50 reduction will still apply if you and your neighbours’ properties are liable for council tax.
If your neighbours or anyone else is paying money through you for water and/or sewerage services, you are a ‘reseller’ and you are legally responsible for passing on the reduction. There’s more guidance here about your responsibilities as a reseller
You can claim for the reduction by completing the Reseller Registration form
If the neighbours pay less than £50 a year for water and/or sewerage charges, you’ll get a reduction equal to that amount to pass on to them.
If you’re a landlord or tenant
If you have tenants paying you for water and/or sewerage services, the £50 reduction will still apply to the tenants of the property, if the property is liable for council tax.
If anyone else is paying money through you for water and/or sewerage services, you are a reseller and are legally responsible for passing on the reduction. There’s more guidance here about your responsibilities as a reseller.
You can claim for the reduction by completing the Reseller Registration form.
If you charge tenants less than £50 a year for water and/or sewerage charges, you’ll get a reduction equal to that amount to pass on to them.
If you’re paying a landlord for water and/or sewerage charges, the landlord will be responsible as a reseller for passing on the reduction to you.
The £50 reduction is for 'household' customers. A household bill is a bill for water and/or sewerage services supplied to a property for which the occupier is liable to pay Council Tax.
Commercial premises are not eligible for the reduction unless there is a separate living space where the tenant is liable for Council Tax and pays the commercial landlord for water and sewerage services. If this applies to you then please check out Landlords and tenants for more information.
If your bill does not show a 'Government Contribution' reduction, it is because our records indicate that your property is used for commercial purposes.
If you believe your property has been wrongly classified and you only pay Council Tax for your property, please complete the appeal form below.
When we receive your information, we will check the Council Tax information for your home on the District Valuation Office (DVO) website.
If this confirms that Council Tax is payable and the property is not for mixed use, we will amend your account so that you receive the full £50 discount for 2013/14.
If the DVO website shows your property as mixed use, we will not apply the £50 discount to your account but you may still qualify under landlord/tenant rules so please read Landlords and tenants before completing the appeal if your property is mixed use.