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Welcome to our home of payments and savings. It’s here you’ll find out how to pay your bill, how we can help you save and, if you’re having difficulty understanding your bill, we have a useful interactive tool to help.

Why do we pay for water?

Did you know water goes through a complex journey before it reaches you? Each stage contributes to the charges you pay.

Everyone pays for water, but your household will pay it as part of your council tax in Scotland. In business, you get a separate bill for your water and waste water. 

The water cycle

Rain and river water is collected in Scotland’s 678 reservoirs, from which it is pumped to Scottish Water’s treatment works. The water is then filtered and cleaned so it’s suitable for drinking. After it’s been treated, it’s pumped to storage tanks.

Once water has been used, it’s drained into the sewers where it’s again taken for treatment. Drainage water from roads and buildings is also processed, as well as industrial waste water. It’s filtered, strained and thoroughly cleaned – processing waste water is even more expensive than treating water. Once this process is complete, the cleaned waste water is fit to be returned to nature.

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Water Saving Devices & Tips

Advice on how to be more water efficient, including how to claim your free Water Efficiency Pack

Advice on water efficiency

Our charging statements for Scotland 

Default Primary Charges 2018/19

Our default charges for Scotland

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Contracted Primary Charges 2018/19

Our contracted charges for Scotland

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Non-primary Charges 2018/19

Our non-primary and other charges for Scotland

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Our charging statement for England

Default Primary
Charges 2018/19

Our default charges for England

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About our VAT Charges

VAT is chargeable at the standard rate on clean water charges for all customers whose main business activity falls within divisions 1 to 5 of the 1980 Standard Industrial Classifications (SIC) as used by Companies House

VAT is chargeable at the standard rate on clean water charges for all customers whose main business activity falls within divisions 1 to 5 of the 1980 Standard Industrial Classifications (SIC) as used by Companies House

Below you can see a quick guide as to which kinds of businesses fall under these 5 SIC divisions.

SIC code 1 - Energy and water supply industries
SIC code 2 - Extraction of minerals and ores other than fuels; manufacture of metal, mineral products and chemicals
SIC code 3 - Metal goods, engineering and vehicle industries
SIC code 4 - Other manufacturing industries
SIC code 5 - Construction

Customers whose activities do not fall into one of these 5 divisions are not liable for VAT on their water charges. For those customers whose business does fall into one of the divisions, VAT is only applicable on clean water charges.  Waste water and drainage charges have zero rated VAT liability.

All other elective services provided by Business Stream have a standard rated VAT liability. Elective services are any services that fall out with the default water, waste water and drainage charges that every business is required to pay. The only exception to this is infrastructure charges for new water connections, which are outside the scope of UK VAT.

Full details of the applicable VAT guidelines can be found in the HMRC Water and Sewage Services Reference Notice 701, which is available on the on the HMRC website.

VAT Legal information

Scottish Water Business Stream Limited trading as Business Stream

VAT number: 945 8508 85. Registered in Scotland. Registered number: SC294924

Registered office address and principal place of business: Business Stream, 7 Lochside View, Edinburgh, EH12 9DH

Our Rates and Charges

Our charges for water and waste water services are updated on 1 April every year.

They are based upon the default services, standards and maximum tariffs that the Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS) publishes every year.

Any new or updated charges come into effect on the first day of each new financial year. If you have a bill includes services from the previous financial year, the costs for these services will be split to ensure that you pay the rate that was valid in the year the charges were accrued.

If you have any questions about how this affects your bill or payments, please feel free to get in touch.

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