Apply to the Charity Exemption Scheme

Find out how to apply for a charitable exemption from your water, waste water and drainage charges

The scheme, set up and regulated by Scottish Water on behalf of the Scottish Government, supports charities with the cost of their water and waste water bills. 

Are you eligible?

To be eligible for charitable exemption, you must be registered with either the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) or a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC).

Additionally, your charity cannot:

  • Have a gross annual income of over £300,000
  • Hold a permanent alcohol licence to sell alcohol at the premises
  • Be a charity shop, or other retailing premises, including a café or canteen which is open to the public
  • Be a Local Authority or an Arms-Length External Organisation (ALEO) which are organisations that can be used by councils to deliver services

Not eligible?

Find out if you could make a saving on your water bills here.

How to apply

Complete the form by clicking the "apply now" button below.

Remember, you need to apply annually for your exemption before 31 March to ensure you avoid any water and waste water charges from 1 April.

Find out more about how to apply here.

Prior Exemptions

Organisations need to reapply annually for exemption. There were also some amendments made to the eligibility criteria which may affect you.

If you’re unsure if you’re eligible, you can check on the Scottish Government website.

Please ensure you have submitted your application form by 31 March each year in order to receive your exemption.


What is the exemption scheme?

This a Scottish Government scheme to negate water and waste water charges from charities and non-profit organisations.

Who is eligible for exemption?

OSCR and CASC registered associations earning under £300,000 per year and registered with HMRC as a non-profit organisation. The property must also be located in Scotland, as this scheme is regulated by the Scottish Government.

What do I need to do if we move premises?

If you move you must let us know as the exemption is not transferable alongside a change of occupancy to a new premises so you will need to complete a new application.

We will then notify Scottish Water of the change so the Exemption can be transferred to the new premises.

What information do I need to provide in support of my application?

You'll need to have your:

  • Scottish Charity Number/CASC registration number
  • Business Stream reference number
  • SPID (Supply point ID that can be found on Business Stream invoices)
  • Name of charity or sports club
  • Annual financial accounts

Find out more about how to apply here

What is the process?

Apply online at Business Stream website, we will then forward your application to Scottish Water, who will review your application. This can take up to twelve weeks for this to be processed. The successful applicants will then be exempt or partially exempt from charges.

How long does it take to complete the process?

It can take up to twelve weeks but this can vary depending on the volume of applicants.

Why are you billing me when I have been exempt for many years?

New legislation dictates that customers have to apply for each new financial year.

When would I receive an updated bill?

When Business Stream receive notification of your successful appication, we will amend the account and issue your revised bill.

How can I track the progress of my application?

Please allow up to twelve weeks for notification. After this time you can contact us via the web forms online.

What is a partial exemption?

Organisations with earnings between £200,000 and £300,000 may only be granted 50% exemption due to their financial situation.