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How Much Is the Average Business Water Bill?

Lots of new business owners expect their domestic and business water bills to be the same. In fact, commercial water bills look different from domestic water bills and suppliers are under different obligations to their business customers.

Both new and existing business owners need to stay on top of their expenses. Water bills are an often overlooked yet essential part of keeping your business running. At Business Electricity Prices, we work hard to keep our customers informed about industry standards. The first step towards reducing your expenses is understanding the average business water bill. 

Deregulation of the Business Water Industry

On the 1st of April 2017, the business water market was deregulated. Before then, business owners could only access water from their regional suppliers. The deregulation of the market created more competition between suppliers. Business owners can reduce their average business water bills by monitoring the market and taking advantage of new, discounted deals. 

What Does a Business Water Bill Look Like?

Commercial water bills are more complicated than domestic water bills. Business owners have to consider charges for clean water, wastewater, surface water, and highways drainage. Your bill will also look different if your premises are metered or unmetered. 

Some business owners have separate suppliers for water and sewage services. If this situation applies to you, you will receive different bills and have to handle them separately.

Here is an overview of the information you can expect to see on your business water bill.

  • All the important details about your business. You will find your business name and address on the top half of the bill.

  • Your customer reference ID will be visible on the top half of the bill. You need your customer reference when you are making a payment or handling disputes with your supplier.

  • There will be a supply point ID on your bill. This number is unique to each customer. It references where their water access point is. 

  • Business owners can see a summary of their account on their bill. This summary presents an overview of any outstanding debts and adjustments.

  • The most important part of any bill is the charge summary and charge breakdown. These sections tell you how much you have to pay. The breakdown will tell you how much of your bill is comprised of VAT, fixed charges, and volumetric usage.

Are Commercial Water Bills Similar to Home Water Bills?

You will see a lot of the same information on domestic and commercial water bills. Whether you are a residential or business customer, you can expect to see these four pieces of information.

  • Your address
  • Your suppliers’ details
  • A reference number for your account
  • The amount that you owe

There is a few main difference between domestic water bills and business water bills. Business owners have to pay for general water services and sewage water services. They also have to pay 20% VAT, whereas domestic water bills are exempt from VAT. 

How Do Suppliers Calculate Commercial Water Bills?

When it comes to commercial water bills, suppliers have to think about a lot of different services. The most important part of business water bills is the water service charges and the sewage service charges. Business owners can purchase these services from the same supplier or deal with two different suppliers.

Water services - Suppliers calculate bills in a different way for businesses that are metered and unmetered. 

  • If your business is unmetered, you will pay a charge based on the Rateable Value of your property alongside a standing charge. Rateable Values apply to properties that were built before 1990. The Valuation Office created Rateable Values from lots of different factors including local amenities, size of the property, condition of the property, and the annual rental value. The Valuation Office can no longer change Rateable Values. Any home improvements that were made after 1990 cannot be taken into consideration when calculating the Rateable Value of your property. 

  • Most homes and commercial spaces built after 1990 have water meters. If your business is on a water meter, you will pay a fixed standing charge as well as a volumetric rate for your water.

Sewage services - This part of business water bills covers disposing and treating sewage. 

  • If your business is unmetered, you will pay an amount based on your property's Rateable Value.
  • If your business is metered, you will be charged based on the current volumetric rate.

 

Average Business Water Bill in Different Industries

It is difficult to pinpoint how much different industries spend on their water bills every year. In the water industry, average spending is sorted into business sizes and suppliers. These statistics can tell you how much average commercial water bills are for small businesses and medium businesses.

Average Small Business Water Bills

These figures are based on 200m3 of water consumption in 2021.

 

SUPPLIER

WATER £/M3

WATER FIXED

WASTE £/M3

WASTE FIXED

TOTAL BILL

1. Northumbrian

£1.0646

£38.77

£0.7793

£77.02

£484.57

2. Thames Water

£1.4570

£17.84

£0.8963

£44.71

£553.21

3. Severn Trent

£1.5172

£45.59

£0.9400

£39.53

£576.56

4. United Utilities

£1.7010

£48.07

£1.1050

£0

£609.27

5. Yorkshire Water

£1.3621

£40.86

£1.5599

£48.91

£674.17

6. Anglian Water

£1.3472

£58.00

£1.4212

£37.00

£648.48

7. Southern Water

£1.9998

£46.00

£1.2484

£18.00

£713.64

8. Wessex Water

£1.2600

£50.89

£1.9988

£85.85

£788.89

9. Business Stream

£1.5652

£68.22

£1.8391

£79.36

£828.44

10. South West

£1.9718

£50.85

£2.9162

£49.83

£1,078.28

Average Medium Business Water Bills 

These figures are based on 1,500m3 of water consumption in 2021.

SUPPLIER

WATER £/M3

WATER FIXED

WASTE £/M3

WASTE FIXED

TOTAL BILL

1. Northumbrian

£1.0646

£38.77

£0.7793

£77.02

£2,842.42

2. Thames Water

£1.4570

£17.84

£0.8963

£44.71

£3,592.50

3. Severn Trent

£1.5172

£45.59

£0.9400

£39.53

£3,770.92

4. Anglian Water

£1.3472

£58.00

£1.4212

£37.00

£4,247.60

5. United Utilities

£1.7010

£48.07

£1.1050

£0

£4,257.07

6. Yorkshire Water

£1.3621

£40.86

£1.5599

£48.91

£4,472.60

7. Southern Water

£1.9998

£46.00

£1.2484

£18.00

£4,936.30

8. Wessex Water

£1,2600

£50.89

£1.9988

£85.85

£5,024.94

9. Business Stream

£1.5652

£68.22

£1.8391

£79.36

£5,254,03

10. South West

£1.9718

£50.85

£2.9162

£49.83

£7,432.68

How to Switch Business Water Suppliers

The easiest way to reduce your commercial water bills is to switch suppliers. The energy and water markets are constantly fluctuating. Suppliers want to secure new customers now more than ever. Lots of suppliers will offer new customers big discounts to secure their loyalty. 

Switching business water suppliers does not have to be difficult. We have scoured the market to find the best deals and discounts for business owners all over the UK. If you want to reduce your average business water bill, look no further. Put your details into our water prices comparison generator to see how much you could be saving. 

Once you have chosen a new deal, we will handle the rest. When you choose British Electricity Prices, you can focus on the things that matter to your business. We have helped business owners save more than £800,000 on their business water bills.

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