Mallon confirms further support for local business with a hold on water bills and tariff increases

Date published: 16 April 2020

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has confirmed water and sewerage bills for business and non-domestic customers will be held back until July so businesses do not face this additional burden during the current health emergency.

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A planned annual increase in the non-domestic water and sewerage tariff will also be deferred and reviewed in the Autumn.

Speaking today the Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: 

“Water is essential in the fight against Covid-19 and I am fully supportive of the steps NI Water has taken to maintain services and support its customers in light of the spread of the coronavirus.

“Today’s announcement to delay the issue of bills is a further demonstration of my commitment to do what I can to support our business community as we all make our way through this situation and as we plan to rebuild our economy in the months ahead.  

“To make these changes possible and ensure NI Water’s cashflow, my Department will be reprofiling its funding arrangements with the company for the coming months.  I am pleased to have had the co-operation and support of other key stakeholders including the Utility Regulator and Consumer Council NI and I am hopeful that these measures will provide some relief to our business community.”

NI Water Director of Finance and Regulation, Ronan Larkin said: “We are acutely aware this is a challenging time for everyone and we do not want any business or non-domestic customer to feel extra pressure due to an increase in the tariff they pay for water and sewerage services.

“I appreciate that any bill at this time may be a challenge, so we have decided to temporarily postpone the issuing of all water and sewerage bills during April, May and June 2020.  With many businesses now closed, or having significantly curtailed their activities, this will alleviate the concerns many may have had in relation to accessing and paying their bill.” 

Notes to editors: 

  1. Non domestic charges for water and sewerage which would have been billed during the postponement period will be included in bills issued once billing resumes.
  2. Customers can access further information about water charges on NI Water’s website at www.niwater.com.
  3. NI Water is required to annually review the charges levied for water and sewerage services and agree them with the Utility Regulator in order that customers pay the fairest rate for the water and sewerage services they receive.
  4. A planned 1.7% increase in non-domestic water and sewerage charges which had been due to be introduced on the first of April 2020 will be deferred and reviewed in September 2020.
  5. Health advice and information on government services is available at: www.publichealth.hscni.net/news/covid-19-coronavirus and www.nidirect.gov.uk/coronavirus
  6. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at press.office@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk  Out of hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.
  7. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure

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