Scottish Government decision on application of revised rateable values to charges for Water Services from April 2018.

The Scottish Government have undertaken an exercise to update rateable values used to determine charges for commercial premises. As a part of this they have determined that the updated rateable values will come into effect for the purpose of charges for Water and Waste services with effect from April 2018. Delivering against this decision is an obligation placed on all providers of Water and Waste Services in Scotland. As such occupants of commercial premises cannot seek revised invoices to be based on revised rateable values until the date determined by the Scottish Government (April 2018).

The only exception to this is where properties are merged or significantly modified after 31 March 2017 such that the rateable value changes.

It is expected that the Scottish Government will issue a communication reflecting this and providing wider information.

The next step is that the Scottish Government and WICS are assessing the differences in charges so each Licenced Provider (of which Aimera is one) will be able to consider the best means of communicating to their customers. Our understanding is that whilst Rateable Values (RV) will increase, the charge applied by RV will reduce such that broadly the total revenue raised and paid by water services providers (including Aimera) to Scottish Water will be broadly the same across the whole of Scotland. However, within this there will be increases for some customers and reductions for others. As Aimera are notified of the changes we will update the communication on our web site and consider what and how we best inform our customers.

This does not in any way impact on the facility for occupants of commercial premises to appeal to the appropriate body against their rateable value. Our understanding is that where an appeal is successful it would be likely to have a bearing on future charges but not historic ones.

Water Competition in England

Aimera hold a supply license in Scotland for water and associated waste services. We currently have no plans to compete in the new competitive market in England, which opens on 1 April 2017.

We would love to offer the better prices and the great customer service we have delivered in Scotland since 2010, but the margin between wholesale and retail prices (the margin generates customer discounts, our operating costs and profits) is so small that it would make our service delivery impossible.

We hope that wholesale costs in England decrease to match those seen in Scotland, where customers benefit from a thriving market, based on price and service.

Aimera continue to operate as the largest fully independent licensed provider in Scotland.

Are you the landlord of a vacant non-domestic property?

26 January 2017

The Scottish Government announced in June 2016 that following a public consultation, the current exemption from charges for vacant non-domestic properties will be removed.

From 1 April 2017, all non-domestic properties, where these are connected to services, will be liable for water service charges whether they are vacant or not.

To avoid costs being directed to you instead of a tenant please get in touch with us now (telephone 0141 354 7664 or email to ensure we have the most up to date information on whether your sites are vacant or occupied.

The competitive water market in England is open for business on 1 April 2017?

01 May 2016

Currently there is a gathering momentum of press statements and anticipation from business customers who will have the ability to exercise choice of supplier. This "new" competitive market in England is scheduled to open on 1 April 2017.

Activity at the moment surrounds the infrastructure of systems and processes to enable trading between wholesalers and licensed providers to deliver operating systems and processes to allow trading.

Customer interest and benefits would naturally focus on price and service. Water quality is a given, with wholesalers responsibility remaining largely unchanged. To determine customer discounts and service levels licensed providers need to understand the margin available to run a viable operation. At this time the margin between wholesale and retail prices are still to be determined, but wholesalers will publish draft prices by October 2016. This will then give licensed providers the opportunity to market the possible discounts available in England.

Initial indications show wholesale to retail margins to be extremely low at circa 2.5%. Given the fact that customers in Scotland enjoy discounts far in excess of this, the opportunities appear to be, at this stage, minimal.

To keep updated on progress and the reality of any forthcoming opportunities, follow us on twitter for regular updates, we would also be interested in customers' feedback from their current providers.

New Scottish Government charities exemption scheme

The Scottish Government has announced details of a new scheme which will help charities and community amateur sports clubs (CASCs) with the cost of their water and waste water bills. The scheme will be administered by the water industry on behalf of the Scottish Government.

From April 2015, support will be available to registered charities and CASCs with an income below £300,000. There are a few exceptions. Charities and CASCs will not be eligible for support where one or more of the following conditions are met;

  • the charity holds a permanent alcohol licence to sell alcohol at the premises

  • the premises is a charity shop or other premises used for the purposes of retailing new or second hand merchandise

  • the premises operates as a café which is open to the public and operated on a regular basis to generate income. This excludes canteens that have been provided by the charity to support its own volunteers

  • The organisation is a Local Authority or an Arms-Length External Organisation (ALEO) which organisations that can be used by councils to deliver services

This new scheme will replace an existing scheme. Those organisations that are already eligible under the current arrangements will be exempt from charges in 2015-16 and do not need to apply to receive support during 2015-16. In the coming months Licensed providers will contact their customers that are eligible for the existing scheme to advise them what they need to do for 2016-17.

The application process for the new scheme will open in early January 2015. Even though potentially eligible charities and CASCs do not need to take any action at this stage they may want to ensure relevant accounts have been prepared and, in the case of charities, submitted to the Office of Scottish Charity Register (OSCR) to ensure they can receive support from April 2015.

Successful organisations will receive support from 1 April, 2015, as long as the application is received by Scottish Water by 31 March 2016 and it meets the scheme requirements.

Aimera seeking Associates for sales introductions.

Ring 0141 354 7664 and ask for Associate Sales or email