Northern Ireland Water (NI Water) is responsible for supplying water and sewerage services to businesses and charging for those services. These charges are determined by either metered or unmeasured means.
Metered water charges for businesses
If you have business premises with a water meter you will pay measured charges based on the size of your supply pipe, and a variable charge based on the amount of water used.
Unmeasured water charges for businesses
If you do not have a water meter, you will pay unmeasured charges. This will be added to a variable charge based on the rateable value of the property.
Domestic allowance for eligible metered water customers
If you pay business rates, you may be entitled to a domestic allowance of 100m3 every six months. The domestic allowance is subtracted from the amount recorded on the water meter. It is worked out for the exact number of days covered by the bill. Any unused portion of the allowance cannot be carried forward into a new bill period. Customers wishing to apply for the domestic allowance should contact NI Water. Proof of your rateable status may be required to confirm eligibility.
Assessed charges for water
Where it has not been possible to install a water meter, you can request an alternative assessed charge for water and sewerage. The assessed charge includes two elements: a standing charge and a variable charge based on the loading units attributed to the water using appliances on your property. You can apply for a domestic allowance against assessed charges if you pay rates.
Large user tariff
You may be eligible for a large user tariff. This can mean paying a lower rate to reflect the lower costs of serving large users. NI Water can tell you if your business qualifies for large-user tariffs.
Who regulates the water industry?
The Utility Regulator is the regulator for the water and sewerage industry in Northern Ireland. The Utility Regulator sets limits on increases in water and sewerage companies' charges. They monitor investment, levels of service and companies' compliance with relevant legislation and conditions of appointment.
Water from non-mains sources
If you use water from a non-mains source such as a well, borehole or reservoir you may need to apply to abstract or impound water from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
If you use of water from a non-mains source, either as the main or additional supply source, you must tell NI Water. This means your sewerage charges can be worked out correctly.