If you are an existing customer and continue to pay wastewater charges after 1 April 2020, you will automatically receive a reduction to your wastewater bills between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2025.
How much you will get
Household bill payers that continue to pay wastewater charges after 1 April 2020 will receive a reduction to their bills, linked to their usage levels. On average, this rebate will be approximately £14 in the first year.
After this, the bill reduction will depend upon your wastewater charges and how many former customers apply for and receive payments under the new scheme. It will also be subject to inflation. We anticipate the reduction will be, on average,approximately £9 a year until 2025.
We've provided three examples below to show how the rebate amounts vary based on your wastewater charges.
Household customer - wastewater charges 1
2020–21 (if there was no rebate) 2
2021–21 (actual charge) 2
Equivalent free days of wastewater services 3
IMPORTANT: This table makes standard assumptions to estimate your bill reduction.
1 - The example charges are for wastewater only and do not include water. If you are a water and wastewater customer, the total shown on your bill will include both charges. Please refer to the wastewater section of your bill for your separate wastewater charges. Typically, this can be found on page two of your bill. 2We've lowered our wastewater charges for 2020-21. The rebate will be provided in addition to this reduction. To show the difference, we've shown examples with and without the rebate applied. 3 - Based on an annual wastewater bill, the rebate is equivalent to approximately this many days’ free wastewater services.
For non-household customers, the average rebate will be approximately £260. How much you receive will vary based on:
You don’t need to do anything. Customers who continue to pay wastewater charges from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2025 will automatically receive a reduction on their bills.
Why have the amounts changed from the sum of £61 mentioned previously? The £61 mentioned previously was an average for all household and non-household customers.The average figure now (post consultation, and post anticipated payments to former customers across all customers, household and non-household) is £60.
The total available amount for customer payments and rebates, as agreed with Ofwat, is still £123 million*.
Following the consultation, we’ve now agreed to make fixed payments to eligible former customers. As the total amount available for payments to former customers and rebates for existing customers remains the same, the average reduction of wastewater charges for existing household bill payers over the next five years will now be approximately £50.
The final amount that will be available for rebates to existing customers will depend on how many former customers apply for and receive a payment and how much your wastewater charges are during 2020-25. It will also be subject to inflation.
*In 2017–18 prices.
Why is the amount I'm due to receive as an existing customer dependent on how many former customers come forward – why can’t you just increase the pot of money?The total payment amount was agreed with Ofwat, and this has not changed. Following the Ofwat consultation process, Southern Water proposed to make payments to former customers. These payments will be deducted from the total amount with the residual value being applied to existing customers between 1 April 2021 and 30 March 2025.
I'm a current customer – why can't I get a full rebate now?How and when we can rebate customers is contained in the formal undertaking that we have given to Ofwat. The payment of the penalties that have been avoided would normally be made over an extended period of 50 or more years. Instead, we’ll provide reduced wastewater charges to customers spread over a shorter period of five years, 2020 to 2025.
Does the cost of all this mean my bill will go up?No. Customers will bear none of the costs of the payments, rebates or the fine.
I'm a Southern Water customer but billed by South East Water. Will I get a rebate? Yes. We'll be working closely with South East Water to ensure each eligible household receives a reduction on their wastewater charges from April 2020 until March 2025.
Will I get the total rebate if I move out of Southern Water’s area during the next five years? No, because each bill payer will receive a yearly reduction in their wastewater charge from April 2020 until March 2025. So if you pay wastewater charges to us during some of this period you will receive a partial rebate.
I’ve changed address in the last few years, but I’m still a Southern Water wastewater customer – will I get a rebate? Yes, if you continue to pay wastewater charges after 1 April 2020, you will receive a reduction on your wastewater charges from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2025.
I’m changing address after April 2021 – can I get all of the money off my bill in 2020? No, because reductions will only be made to wastewater charges for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2025. If you pay wastewater charges for some of this time, you’ll receive a reduction on the charges you pay.
If I become a new Southern Water customer between 2020 and 2025, will I get a rebate? Yes, because each bill payer will receive a reduction in their wastewater charge from April 2020 until March 2025.
I paid wastewater charges from 2015, and I still do – why won’t I receive a payment and a future rebate?If you are still paying wastewater charges at 1 April 2020, you are eligible for a bill rebate. Payments are only available for former customers no longer paying wastewater charges at 1 April 2020.
I’m renting – am I eligible for a rebate?If you are the bill payer, you will be eligible to receive a reduction in your wastewater charge from April 2020 until March 2025.
I’m eligible, but have debt on my account. Will I receive a rebate? Yes. However, the reduction to wastewater charges may be offset against the value of any outstanding debt.
I pay water charges but not wastewater charges – am I eligible for a rebate?No. The rebate is tied to our wastewater pricing. Only those that pay wastewater charges are eligible.
Why does the number of free days vary in the examples provided?Your overall wastewater bill includes a retail charge (a set price) along with a wastewater charge (based on what you use). As you use more, the retail charge stays the same while the wastewater charge goes up. The bill reduction is linked to what you use. As your use goes up, the wastewater charge becomes a greater proportion of your bill. So the number of free days increases.