Paying Too Much for Water?

17 June 2014

Water Tap

Hotel water bills can be very high but there are some steps that can be taken to minimise this burden. Please have a look at the enclosed points and see if they apply to your business. 

1. Check your meter – NI Water should bill you at least once a year on an actual meter reading. An estimated bill could be wrong.

2. Check for allowances – NI Water offers the following allowances:

- Domestic allowance – any business with a water meter that pays business rates can claim the domestic allowance worth over £500 per year. This can be backdated up to six years.

- Non-return to sewer allowance – the sewerage part of your NI Water bill will be based on 95 per cent of the water taken in through your meter. If you return less than this you can claim this allowance.

- Fire hydrant reduction – you can claim a reduction in your standing charge if you have a separate fire hydrant.

- Rainwater harvesting – rainwater gathered and used is charged at a lower rate per m3 when returned to the sewer.

- Large user tariff – if you use over 100m3 a year you can get an increasing discount if you implement a range of water efficient measures.

3. Look at water efficient devices when replacing old equipment.

4. Speak to your staff about water efficiency.

5. Check our free guide 'Every Drop Counts' for more information (see attached).

See below for more information on some of the points above. 

Domestic Allowance

Metered customers and those paying assessed charges that pay business rates for their property can apply for reductions on both the water and sewage portions of their bill.  This is 100 m3 per six months for water and 95 m3 per six months for sewage, the allowance must be used within the billing period and is not carried over.  These allowances are subtracted from the usage recorded on the water meter.  NI Water need to see a copy of your business rates bills before applying this. The allowance can be backdated to the date that you started paying rates for your premises, up to a maximum of six years.

Non Return to Sewer Allowance

NI Water automatically applies a 5 per cent reduction to the measured sewage charges on your bill. This is because in most businesses, most of the water used is returned to the sewage system.  If your business returns less than 95 per cent of water to the sewage network, you can apply to have your bill reduced accordingly.  NI Water charges an application fee and may require a chargeable site visit to assess the allowance that you are entitled to.  All fees are refundable if your application is successful.

Large User Tariff

Customers using over 100,000 m³ of water per year and who have implemented a range of water efficient practices can apply for the Large User tariff.  Once you have successfully applied for this tariff any water you use over this amount will be charged at a reduced rate with reductions of up to 30 per cent for customers using over 500,000 m3. Terms and conditions apply to this tariff; contact NI Water for further information. 


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