What do the standing charges cover?
Standing charges are levied to collect income to cover standing, or 'fixed' costs of a service. For clean water, the standing charge contributes towards costs incurred through providing you with a connection to the water supply, and maintaining the production, delivery and quality of a drinkable water supply network. For wastewater, the standing charge contributes towards costs incurred through monitoring and staffing.
What do the variable charges cover?
The variable charges are levied to collect income to cover variable costs, e.g. those costs that fluctuate depending on customer demand/usage. This includes maintenance or new initiative requirements due to increased flow through the sewers, or increased demand for drinking water.
I will be moving house soon - what do I need to do regarding my water supply?
Please visit our Moving House page for more information on this.
Why was the wastewater charge introduced?
Before April 2011, all funds for the maintenance and extension of the wastewater network had to be requested from the States of Guernsey's central revenue fund. As the pressure on finances grew and the number of projects in need of States' funding increased, it was decided that the wastewater infrastructure needed to develop some financial self-sufficiency. There was also a belief that the whole water business needed to be run on commercial lines, which would in turn reduce the reliance on States' general revenue which so many projects look to take from. By reducing the reliance on central funding, States' revenue can be freed up for other important projects. All Islanders (both domestic and commercial) are liable to pay the wastewater charge.
I am not connected to the main drain system and have a cesspit - do I still have to pay the wastewater charge?
Yes. Even if you have a cesspit on your property and are not connected directly to the public sewer, you will still have to pay the wastewater charge. This is because income from the charge will be used for the maintenance of the whole infrastructure, which is utilised by public sewer connections and cesspit-users alike (cesspit collections are put into the system at a point remote from the dwelling). However, the cesspit rate has been reduced in recognition of the fact that these customers will be paying the new charge in addition to this service.
I am a commercial user, and we do not return 90% of our water into the foul network as waste - we use much more of our water than domestic users. do I still have to pay the full wastewater charge?
It is recognised that certain non-domestic users of water will not necessarily be returning to the system as wastewater 90% of the clean water supplied, e.g. certain industrial processes discharge large amounts of steam, meaning that the volume of water entering the sewer is much less that then 90% assumed. In recognition of this, STSB, if approached, will negotiate rates for such users to reflect the amount of wastewater actually being discharged to the network, either directly or indirectly. The onus will be on the user to demonstrate that less than 90% of water received is being returned to the wastewater network. If dissatisfied with the outcome of STSB's assessment, an applicant will be able to request a review of the decision. Any reduced charges agreed will apply only to the non-fixed wastewater charges and not to the standing charges and will be regularly reviewed.
Can I keep my Direct Debit agreement with me when I move to a new property?
Yes you can - in fact we would prefer this as it makes things easier for both customers and Guernsey Water.
Why do I have to pay the wastewater charge when I have my own drinking water supply?
This is because wastewater from any drinking water supply (whether from the mains or from a borehole/well etc.) will still be required to enter the wastewater network at some point. This might be via a direct connection (e.g. waste pipes into the sewer) or an indirect connection (a cesspit, which will be emptied by a tanker and the contents inserted into the public sewer at one of our emptying points).
Why can't I pay my bill at Brickfield House?
We do not have the facilities at Brickfield House to accept payments for water bills. However, customers can pay in a number of different ways including by Direct Debit, online, by cheque, by card over the phone, or in person at local Post Offices and Sir Charles Frossard House.
Will the Post Office charge me for paying there?
The Post Office will not charge you for paying your bill there unless you are paying by credit card, in which case there will be a surcharge of 1.8% per transaction.
If my house is unoccupied while I carry out building improvements, do I still have to pay water charges?
You will still need to pay the standing charge, but you will not need to pay the variable charge. Please contact us on 239500 to inform us whether your house will be unoccupied, and we will advise you further.
I am currently renting a property - can I have a water meter fitted?
You can, but you will need written permission from your landlord. Please download our meter application form and carefully note Section 3 and the Supplementary Notes.
Why have my water charges increased?
Each year we assess the level of water charges in light of our current and forecasted future expenditure. As energy, chemical and material costs are continuing to increase, and with the impact of annual inflation, it is necessary for Guernsey Water to raise water charges. However, we are always careful to take into account what we feel customers can afford before setting our charges.