COVID-19 REPAYMENT SCHEME for sites in England & Wales and Scotland
In line with the latest Customer Protection Code of Practice released by Ofwat, the water industry regulator, Regent Water has implemented a Covid-19 Repayment Scheme to support its non-household customers currently affected by Covid-19 and having difficulty paying their bills as a result of Covid-19 and the lockdown.
If you are experiencing difficulties paying your business water bills or have experienced an unforeseen reduction in consumption as a direct result of Covid-19, we are able to offer a repayment scheme, which can run until 31 March 2021.
The scheme below details the classification of customers affected and their eligibility for the repayment options. It also introduces the payment arrangements available.
Eligibility for the repayment scheme
Customers who qualify for the Repayment Scheme are those that meet the requirements set by Ofwat as set out below:
- Your premises have been temporarily closed during the lockdown
- You are unable to pay your bill, as a consequence of the effects of Covid-19
The above situations can lead you to the conditions below as a direct result of the coronavirus or related government restrictions
- Difficulties paying for your water
- Decrease of water consumption
These conditions make you eligible for our Covid-19 Repayment Scheme.
If you think you may be eligible for this scheme, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org. We will ask for evidence as meter readings showing a reduction in consumption and/ or financial statements showing a reduction in cash flow.
Following the Ofwat guidance, we have classified our customers regarding the impact of COVID-19 on their business. This helps to assess their eligibility for the repayment options.
This details which customers we classify as being:
- Fully Impacted Customers
- Partially impacted Customers
- Non-Impacted Customers
Fully impacted Customers will not be:
- Served disconnection notices for non-payment of bills
- Subject to default interest for the non-payment of invoices issued from1 June 2020
- Subject to enforcement for the non-payment of invoices
Non-eligible business for the scheme
Non-Impacted Customers will be out of the scheme, therefore businesses that can pay their bills on time should carry on doing so. If your ability to pay hasn’t been affected by coronavirus, billing and payment terms and conditions will carry on as normal and we reserve the right to carry the enforcement activity explained in or terms and conditions.
If your business is not affected by Covid-19 and the lockdown., and therefore you are not eligible for the Covid–19 repayment scheme, Ofwat expects you to pay your water charges when they are due.
Nevertheless, if you are not eligible for the COVID-19 REPAYMENT SCHEME, but have a difficult time to pay your bills, please get in touch with us at email@example.com, so we will be able to assess your situation and assist.
If you’re eligible for Regent Water’s Covid-19 Repayment Scheme, we’ll work with you on a repayment plan to suit your individual circumstances and ability to pay.
Under this Scheme, affected customers may be able to spread their debts in agreed instalments over a period of up to 31 March 2021, if they qualify. The repayment scheme will be a payment plan. We’ll work with you to choose the best scheme and timescale, based on your circumstances and the effect covid-19 has had on your business water use and finances.
What we will do
- Ensure you are not disconnected if you comply with your payment plan and pay ongoing bills issued within terms
- Continue to send bills, so you can monitor for usage
- Suspend your fixed charges from 23rd March until trading restrictions are lifted
- Not charge you any late charges or interest
- Set up a convenient and regular payment schedule to just pay the outstanding amount you owe us over an agreed time period
- Set up a convenient and regular payment schedule to just pay the outstanding amount you owe us and your future bills over an agreed time period
Any arrangement for the payment plan of any arrears due can last only up to 31 March 2021.
Your regular bills will continue as normal and you’ll need to pay these too.
As our customers are diverse and have all different needs and specificities, feel free to contact one of our account managers. We would be delighted to go over your case and offer you the most suitable plan or just. Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consequences if the scheme payment has defaulted
On a Covid-19 Repayment Scheme, it’s important to commit to regularly make any payments due and agreed on.
If you have any problems in making your payments please get in touch at email@example.com, so we will be able to assess your situation and assist.
If you don’t keep up with your payment plan, and don’t get in touch with us to agree on a new arrangement, you’ll no longer be an eligible customer. Therefore, you may be charged with late payment fees. We also reserve the right to commence other enforcement activity as explained in our Terms & Conditions such as:
- Interest charges and late payment fees
- Cutting off the water at your site
- Potential further legal action
Terms and Conditions revision
As the COVID-19 REPAYMENT SCHEME for sites in England and Wales is a temporary measure running until 31 March 2021 and should impact only some customers, Regent Water will not issue a revised Terms and Conditions agreements.
COVID-19 SUPPORT for Scotland
Scottish Government Guidelines
Regulations set by the Scottish Government states that if a business stops trading, (temporarily or permanently), all water service charges are still payable in full. This is also applicable when your premises are vacant. That charges will continue up to the point that the business no longer has a legal right to occupy the property Nevertheless, working closely with the Scottish Government and Scottish Water, the Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS), has introduced two new Charges Relief Schemes to help non-household customers cope with coronavirus challenges:
- Wholesale Charge Deferral
- Payment Refund
Deferral of wholesale volumetric charging
Under this Scheme, non-household customers can apply to Scottish Water on your behalf for a deferral of the wholesale volumetric charging for water and sewerage.
Deferral of wholesale fixed charging
Additionally, non-household premises with a 25mm or smaller meter and non-household unmetered premises can also apply to Scottish Water for a 60% deferral of their wholesale fixed charges for the standing meter or the unmeasured water and sewerage wholesale charges and the drainage wholesale charges. Trade effluent is not covered.
How can we apply?
The application will be made by Licensed providers (retailers) on behalf of the customers. It will be assessed by Scottish Water, who will exercise reasonable judgment as to your business’s eligibility, based on the guidance on business closures issued by the Scottish Government.
Prepayment Refund Scheme
All customers who have pre-paid for their water, waste or drainage services in advance are entitled to a refund of the pre-paid wholesale element of their charges made for services provided between 24 March 2020 and before 24 September 2020. The only exceptions are if the customer has already received a refund or expressly opts out. Customers currently invoiced quarterly or annually in advance will now receive a monthly invoice unless they explicitly opt-out of this scheme.
How long will the schemes last?
Both schemes, which will be backdated to 24 March 2020 and last for six months until 24 September 2020 (or extended until the end of 2020 subject to a review in August).
Scottish Government support
The Scottish Government has also provided some support to help pay your bills Click here.
As in the current circumstances, it is difficult for many businesses across the UK, we are keen to pass on support to our customers that find themselves in financial distress. If you are experiencing difficulty in paying your bills or have queries about your payment, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can offer a range of support options including flexible payment plans to enable customers to find an option that best works for them.