Tom Melhuish 4 min read

The Business water bill explained

Our guide to the business water bill. There are over twenty different licensed water suppliers for business, but the way they charge for water is regulated and uses the following format.

Business Water Bill Charge Types:

These charges are for the supply of fresh potable water to your business premises. The water charge will depend on how much water your business uses. If your property is unmetered, it will be charged based upon the rateable value of your property – an estimate of water usage.

These charges are for the removal of used water from your business premises into the sewer system. These charges will apply to any premises that have a connection to the sewer system.

What is the SPID? (Supply Point ID)

The supply point ID (SPID) is a ten-digit code followed by a letter. It is used by business water suppliers to identify the location of supply to your business premises. Generally, a business premise will have one SPID for the freshwater supply and another for sewerage connection for the removal of wastewater.

The supply point ID is fixed for each business premise and will stay the same if you choose to switch water suppliers.

How is the business water bill calculated?

Fixed / Standing charge – This is a standard fee made by the supplier to cover its costs for reading and maintaining your water meter.

Volumetric charge – A fee that depends on the amount of water your business has used. The charge per cubic meter of water will depend on the location of your premises and the charge scheme of your business supplier.

Water charge = Standing charge + (Volume of water used x Volumetric rate).

How to calculate my wastewater bill?

The wastewater charges are usually charged with both a fixed fee and a volumetric charge.

Fixed / Standing charge – The fixed wastewater charge is made by the supplier to cover the cost of maintaining the pipes the connect your property to the local sewerage system. This charge is determined by the size of pipes from your business premise.

Volumetric charge – A business water supplier will make a charge that depends on the amount of water you have returned to the sewerage system. The supplier will estimate this charge based upon the volume of water supplied to the property.

Return to sewerage factor – To estimate how much of the water supplied to the business premise has been removed as wastewater, the supplier will apply a “return to sewerage factor”. As a default, most suppliers will assume that all water supplied to a business will also be removed as wastewater (ie a factor of 100%).

Wastewater charge = Standing charge + (Volume of Water used x Volumetric rate x Return to sewerage factor)

How can I compare my business water bill?

Deregulation of the water market for businesses means that British businesses can choose who supplies their water. AquaSwitch provides a hassle-free way to compare your business water charges against deals available in the market.