Tom Melhuish 3 min read

Understanding business water charges

Businesses in Britain are charged for the water used and the drainage of water from their premises. The amount each business pays for water depends on the size of the business, whether you have a meter and which supplier you use., This article aims to help you understand your business water charges.

Micro-business and Household water charges

Where a business only uses a small amount of water, it will be charged the same as a regular household. Household rates are fixed by the regulator and provided by a local supplier.

If a micro-business or household doesn’t have a water meter, it will be charged a pre-determined amount, usually based upon the value of the premises. This is known as the ‘rateable value’.

Otherwise, with a premise having one or more water meters, you will be charged a fixed volumetric rate per unit of water and a fixed standing charge. The water charge rate per unit is determined by the regulator and depends on the availability of water in your region.

A business is treated as a household if annual water usage is less than the following limits:

England and Scotland:


5 Million Litres



50 Million Litres

As an idea, a four-person household in the UK is thought to use an average of 0.2 million litres of water each year. If the water usage of your business exceeds these thresholds, it can benefit from being supplied in the deregulated business market. As an idea, a four-person household in the UK is thought to use an average of 0.2 million litres of water each year. See below for more information on the deregulated business market.

Business Water Charges

A business premise is charged for water usage with:

  • A standing fixed charge per day
  • A volumetric rate per unit of consumed water

Meter readings measure the volume of consumed water. Businesses benefit from unregulated rates. The rates charged by each supplier is not determined by the regulator but instead set by each supplier.

On the deregulation of the water market, businesses were switched to their regional business supplier. However, businesses can choose to switch from their current supplier to any other supplier operating with a license. In Britain, there are numerous suppliers with different business charges. They also have varying levels of customer satisfaction.

Do you think that your business could benefit from a different supplier and save money on your water charges?

If so, fill out our simple form here and get a quote immediately.