Scottish Water’s service charges will be frozen for the fourth year running in 2012/2013.

A Scottish Water spokesperson said: "This freeze in charges in 2012/2013 means that we continue to be among the lowest in the UK while at the same time improving our service to customers, tackling leakage and delivering the investment Scotland needs, giving consumers real value for money.

"In this five-year regulatory period we are investing £2.5bn in projects across Scotland, working in communities from Stranraer to Shetland to play our part in improving the quality of life in villages, cities and the countryside."

At the present time, the average water charge for households across Scotland in 2011/12 continues be among the lowest in the UK.  The average household charge in Scotland (£324 – the same level it was in 2009-10) continues to be less than the average household bill in England and Wales (£356) and lower than the average for most of the companies in England. 

Combined water charges in England and Wales are set at around an average inflationary increase of 4.6% (£16).

Watchdog Consumer Focus Scotland described the announcement as "good news".

Trisha McAuley, deputy director at Consumer Focus Scotland, said: "It is good news that water charges are not going up.  Households budgets are under a lot of pressure with the high cost of basic items such as energy and food so consumers need to see value for money from their public services and will expect the same from Scottish Water."

Infrastructure Secretary Alex Neil said: "Scottish Water is performing well as a public sector organisation.  Its decision to freeze charges represents excellent news for customers at a time when households across Scotland are confronted by an increased cost of living."


# Ben Power 2012-01-25 01:29
Before anyone ever tries to privatise water in Scotland again, the privatisation of water in Bolivia should be remembered. Legally the company apparently could even charge for any rain water collected having been given rights to all water in the country. Per the Wikipedia article it was a London based company behind that privatisation. It all ended in riots and deaths of the ordinary Bolivians attempting to protect their rights to the basic necessity of water.
Our independent SNP Scots Government stops this theft of our efficient public water utility and really shows up the unionist types who have been selling all of the UK down the drain for years.
Who in their right mind would choose politicians who would sell us out anymore?
# Ken500 2012-01-25 08:42
Energy prices are double what they are in the south. Despite Scotland being surplus in fuel and energy. . What about parity?

A burden on the whole Scottish economy. Councils , SHS, businesses. Puts up the cost of living in Scotland.
# J Wil 2012-01-25 17:03
Unfortunaely the English have had their water privatised for some years now.

Water meters, conflicting tariffs, price hikes, supplies restricted. It sounds idyllic.
# parsonrussell 2012-01-25 19:08
Water will be a very valuable asset in future years. Another thing our southern neighbours will need from us as they over develop their country, needing more and more water.
# tartanfever 2012-01-26 08:27
Good news from Scottish water - people can't afford a price increase and it's good to know someone's listening and responding.
# parsonrussell 2012-01-26 17:26
This is not Scotttish Water's decision, it has been frozen along with the council tax.

The downside we have to be careful of is that due to inflation, the price freeze means that SW has less each year to invest back into their infrastructure, and if they start performing badly because of lack of investment it could then meke them a public liability and not an asset, that is when privatisation becomes a favourable option.

This is also the danger we have to be aware of from freezing council taxes for too long.
# iReferee 2012-01-26 11:05
I am not old enough to know why the Gas and Electricity supplies did not work in public hands (maybe it did) but in an independent Scotland I'd like to see Gas and Electricity controlled in the same manner as Scottish Water. It may not be perfect but it seems to work well and is better than my experience of living in England where you know you are making a profit for someone each time you flush.

In an independent Scotland I'd love to see the approach where heating, cooking and drinking (water that is) is available to all at cost price. How can anyone get any pleasure from profiting from a pensioner trying to keep warm and stay alive. 'Need' not 'Greed' in an independent Scotland!

Bit of a rant but hope it made some sense.
# balbeggie 2012-01-28 11:38
A good rant that made sense.
# snowthistle 2012-01-28 11:54
A really good rant, when the utilities were in public hands there was too much bureaucracy and nepotism, but that couls have been sorted out.
The theory was that if they were put into private hands then there would be competition and the consumer would benefit, they just never took greed into account.
I think we have experimented with the present model for long enough to know that it doesn't benefit the consumer.
# cokynutjoe 2012-01-28 11:54
Before Sid & Co got their hands on the utilities we had gas, we had electricity, we never had bills of astronomic proportions like now, and there was none of this competition/free market nonsense where you need a degree to understand the charges. There were drawbacks obviously, Ming Campbell was a clerk in the gas board, but generally it was a fairer system.
# mato21 2012-01-28 12:52
Never forget they all had plans to sell off the water one way or another, their terminology may have been different but their aim was the same, prior to the election in May And they will try to keep their plans under the radar in future it is a more valuable asset to our country than the oil
We could adapt to live without oil, extremely difficult, but no matter how smart you are you will not adapt to living without water
We see how people are dying for want of heat selling off the water would be an even bigger obscenity
# red kite 2012-01-29 21:12
The charges to businesses are not very fairly calculated.
At work, we normally have two people, but often just one person. A few kettles for tea during the day, a few flushes, and that's it.
But our water bill is THREE times what I pay at home, where there's two of us, showers, dishwasher, washing machine, lots more flushes, garden hose, cooking, washing & scrubbing, not forgetting the dugs' bowls.
Very unfair bills to small business.
I've tried discussing and negotiating, but they just say "no pay gets a £75 + vat charge".
# tartanfever 2012-01-31 09:20
A renewed relevance to this story now as the BBC are covering a significant rise in water charges south of the border, (averaging over 5%).

Southern customers seem to be the hardest hit with rises of over 8%. Here's a link to the story.

Yet another reason for the Yes vote.
# scotsmanc1 2012-01-31 10:24
Privatised Water Charges in England and Wales to rise again probably by 5.7% in the North West of England where I live.

A spokesman for these Privatised companies refused to comment on whether the profits from this annual exploitation would go in bonuses to the Directors and/or dividends to the shareholders in spite of the question being asked three times
on Radio 5 Live.

Long may Scottish Water remain in Public Ownership. Independence is a must if the interests of the Scottish people are to be best protected, from this bunch of Political gangsters masquerading as a Government with Labour in cohoots.

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