Legal requirements for tourism businesses
Tourist accommodation: reselling electricity, gas and utilities
When you're running a tourist accommodation business, the costs and responsibilities of providing utilities to your guests are one of the factors you will need to consider.
The resale of electricity
If you are reselling electricity to your guests that has already been bought from an authorised electricity supplier, the most you can charge is limited by law.
You can only resell electricity at the same price you bought it. You are not allowed to charge guests more money for electricity than you paid for it.
This rule does not apply if you charge your guests an inclusive charge for accommodation, eg one that includes 'all amenities' and does not specify separate charge for electricity.
The resale of gas
As with electricity, you may only resell gas at the same price that you bought it. You aren't allowed to charge your guests more for gas than you originally paid for it.
Private water supplies
If you use or provide water from a private supply to other people in the course of your business, eg by renting out holiday accommodation or using water for food production, you have a duty of care towards these people for the safety of the water you supply.
In these circumstances, you must register your supply with the Northern Ireland Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI).
Once you register your private water supply, the DWI will assess it for contamination risk and place it on a monitoring programme to check that it meets the water quality standards.
Telephone call charging
As a matter of good practice, you should be as open as possible with guests about telephone charges.
You should indicate clearly typical usage rates for bedroom telephones. These should include examples of costs per unit and length of time that unit represents.
You should display charges for:
- peak and off-peak calls
- local and domestic calls
- international calls
NI Drinking Water Inspectorate028 9056 9282
NI Utility Regulator028 9031 1571