Updated information for business customers
Many businesses will have reduced their commercial activities or temporarily closed in the face of measures to combat the Covid-19. Support is available to business customers who may be struggling to pay their water and wastewater bills.
In the first instance you should contact your retailer. All retailers are required to offer eligible customers a ‘Covid-19 Repayment Scheme’ to enable customers to pay what they are able to afford over an agreed timescale. More advice for business customers impacted by Covid-19 restrictions is available on the Consumer Council for Water website.
In some cases, business customers will be using less water, for example if they are closed, and will want to ensure their bills accurately reflect this. The best way to do this is through your retailer obtaining an up-to-date meter read.
The Covid-19 restrictions do not ban meter reading activities (see government guidance for outdoor work and for working in other people’s houses which also includes safety guidance for employers) and these continue to be the responsibility of retailers. In some cases retailers are continuing to obtain meter reads to ensure customers’ bills accurately reflect correct levels of consumption. In other cases, retailers are reporting challenges in obtaining accurate meter reads or engaging with their customers, for example, where business premises have completely closed.
Where an accurate meter read cannot be obtained by the retailer, an estimate can be used. Business customers can help ensure these estimates – and their bills – are accurate. For example:
- Where customers are willing and can safely access their premises and obtain an up-to-date meter read, we would encourage customers to share this data with their retailer.
- Where a meter cannot be safely accessed or read, we would encourage customers to contact their retailer to explain what activities (if any) are ongoing at a site. This information should help a retailer calculate a more accurate estimate of consumption.