Subsection (1): the new section 29B of the 2002 Act: Determination of maximum charges
110.The new section 29B of the 2002 Act, which is also inserted by subsection (1) of section 21 of the Act, requires the Commission to determine maximum amounts of charges within which Scottish Water will make a charges schemes for approval under the new section 29A of the 2002 Act. It also provides for the period of a determination to be set by Ministers and for the Commission to consult on a draft determination.
111.Subsection (1) of the new section 29B provides that the Commission must determine maximum charge limits which will be the basis for a charges scheme made by Scottish Water under the new section 29A(1), and for Ministers to specify the date by which the determination must be sent to Scottish Water.
112.Subsection (2) of the new section 29B provides for Scottish Ministers to set the period that a charge determination by the Commission will apply for. This might cover the period of one or several charges schemes.
113.Subsection (3) of the new section 29B provides that a charge determination by the Commission can set different maximum charges for different cases or categories of case. This will allow the Commission to provide different charge limits for different types of customers of Scottish Water, including customers in particular circumstances and for different services. The Commission will do this to reflect the different services Scottish Water provides to its customers, and in accordance with Scottish Ministers’ statement under the new section 29D of the 2002 Act.
114.Subsection (4) of the new section 29B sets out the procedure for the Commission to consult on the basis of a draft determination. In advance of making a determination under this section, the Commission is required to send a draft determination to Scottish Ministers, Scottish Water and the Convener of the Water Customer Consultation Panels (representing the Panels as a whole) and to publish it with a view to receiving representations about it, which the Commission must have regard to.
115.Subsection (5) of the new section 29B provides that Scottish Ministers and Scottish Water are required to comply with reasonable requests for information made by the Commission in exercise of its determination function under this section.