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Water Industry Act 1991

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Manner of fixing chargesE+W

142 Powers of undertakers to charge.E+W

(1)Subject to the following provisions of this Chapter, the powers of every relevant undertaker shall include power—

(a)to fix charges for any services provided in the course of carrying out its functions and, in the case of a sewerage undertaker, charges to be paid in connection with the carrying out of its trade effluent functions; and

(b)to demand and recover charges fixed under this section from any persons to whom the undertaker provides services or in relation to whom it carries out trade effluent functions.

(2)[F1Subject to subsections (2A), (3)and (3A)] below, the powers conferred by subsection (1) above shall be exercisable—

(a)by or in accordance with a charges scheme under section 143 below; or

(b)by or in accordance with agreements with the persons to be charged.

[F2(2A)Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) above shall not have effect in relation to—

(a)charges for the supply of water to a dwelling, or

(b)charges for the provision of sewerage services in respect of a dwelling,

but this subsection does not affect any agreement made before the commencement of section 3 of the Water Industry Act 1999.

F2(2B)In subsection (2A) above, “dwelling” has the meaning given by paragraph 1(2) of Schedule 4A to this Act.]

(3)Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) above shall have effect in relation to the exercise of powers with respect to charges in connection with the carrying out of a sewerage undertaker’s trade effluent functions only in so far as provision for the fixing, demanding or recovery of such charges may be contained in an agreement entered into in accordance with section 129 above.

[F3(3A)The power of a sewerage undertaker to charge, by virtue of subsection (1) above, for any services provided in the course of carrying out its duty under section 101A(1) above shall be exercisable only by or in accordance with a charges scheme under section 143 below.]

(4)Except in so far as this Chapter otherwise provides, a relevant undertaker may fix charges under this section by reference to such matters, and may adopt such methods and principles for the calculation and imposition of the charges, as appear to the undertaker to be appropriate.

(5)The powers in relation to which this section has effect shall not be exercised so as to contravene any local statutory provision which expressly provides that no charge shall be made for a particular service.

(6)Nothing in subsections (1) to (5) above or in any charges scheme under section 143 below shall affect any power of a relevant undertaker to fix charges under any power conferred otherwise than by virtue of this Chapter.

(7)References in this section to a sewerage undertaker’s trade effluent functions are references to its functions under Chapter III of Part IV of this Act.

Textual Amendments

F1Words in s. 142(2) substituted (1.4.2000) by 1999 c. 9, s. 3(1); S.I. 1999/3440, art. 3

143 Charges schemes.E+W

(1)A relevant undertaker may make a scheme (“a charges scheme”) which [F4has effect in relation to a specified period of twelve months and]does any one or more of the following, that is to say—

(a)fixes the charges to be paid for any services provided by the undertaker in the course of carrying out its functions;

(b)in the case of a sewerage undertaker, requires such charges as may be fixed by the scheme to be paid to the undertaker where, in the circumstances set out in the scheme—

(i)a notice containing an application for a consent is served on the undertaker under section 119 above;

(ii)such a consent as is necessary for the purposes of Chapter III of Part IV of this Act is given by the undertaker; or

(iii)a discharge is made in pursuance of such a consent;

and

(c)makes provision with respect to the times and methods of payment of the charges fixed by the scheme.

(2)The persons who may be required by a charges scheme to pay any charge fixed by virtue of subsection (1)(b) above shall be the person who serves the notice, the person to whom the consent is given or, as the case may be, any person who makes a discharge in pursuance of the consent at any time during the period to which, in accordance with the scheme, the charge relates.

(3)A charges scheme which requires the payment of charges where a discharge has been made in pursuance of such a consent as is mentioned in subsection (1)(b) above may impose—

(a)a single charge in respect of the whole period for which the consent is in force;

(b)separate charges in respect of different parts of that period; or

(c)both such a single charge and such separate charges.

[F5(3A)A sewerage undertaker is under a duty to ensure that any charges scheme made by the undertaker, so far as having effect to recover the undertaker’s costs of providing a sewer by virtue of its duty under section 101A(1) above, causes those costs to be borne by the undertaker’s customers generally; and a sewerage undertaker’s duty under this subsection shall be enforceable under section 18 above—

(a)by the Secretary of State; or

(b)with the consent of or in accordance with a general authorisation given by the Secretary of State, by the Director.]

(4)A charges scheme may—

(a)make different provision for different cases, including different provision in relation to different circumstances or localities; and

(b)contain supplemental, consequential and transitional provision for the purposes of the scheme;

and such a scheme may revoke or amend a previous charges scheme.

(5)Nothing in any charges scheme shall affect—

(a)any power of a relevant undertaker [F6in a case not falling within section 142(2A) above]to enter into such an agreement with any person in any particular case as determines the charges to be made for the services provided to that person by the undertaker; or

(b)the power of a sewerage undertaker to enter into any agreement under section 129 above on terms that provide for the making of payments to the undertaker.

[F7(6)A charges scheme shall not take effect unless it has been approved by the Director.

F7(7)The Secretary of State may give guidance to the Director on the exercise of his power under subsection (6) above; and the Director shall have regard to that guidance in the exercise of that power.

F7(8)The Secretary of State shall arrange for any guidance given by him under subsection (7) above to be published in such manner as he considers appropriate.

F7(9)The Director may not exercise his power under subsection (6) above for the purpose of limiting the total revenues of relevant undertakers from charges fixed by or in accordance with charges schemes.]

Textual Amendments

F4Words in s. 143(1) inserted (23.12.1999) by 1999 c. 9, s. 4(2); S.I. 1999/3440, art. 2

F6Words in s. 143(5)(a) inserted (1.4.2000) by 1999 c. 9, s. 3(2); S.I. 1999/3440, art. 3

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 143(7)(8): certain functions transferred to the National Assembly for Wales (15.11.1999) by S.I. 1999/2787, art. 3

[F8143A Regulations as to provisions to be included in charges schemes.E+W

(1)The provisions of any charges scheme under section 143 above must comply with any requirements prescribed by the Secretary of State by regulations.

(2)Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) above, regulations under this section may—

(a)prescribe items with respect to which a consumer is, or is not, to be liable to pay a charge;

(b)make provision as to the matters by reference to which charges may be fixed and as to methods and principles to be adopted in calculating and imposing charges;

(c)require alternative bases of charging to be made available to consumers; and

(d)require special provision, including exemption from specified charges, to be made for the purpose of assisting individuals who are or would be liable to pay any charges and who fall within any class of individuals appearing to the Secretary of State to require special provision.

(3)Regulations under this section imposing requirements for the purpose mentioned in subsection (2)(d) may—

(a)prescribe the classes of persons for whom special provision is to be made in relation to any premises by reference to matters such as age, ill-health or disability, the age, ill-health or disability of any of their dependants or of any other persons who have their homes in the premises, or their financial circumstances;

(b)make provision as to the method by which a person may establish his entitlement to assistance under the regulations; and

(c)make provision as to responsibility for costs incurred for the purpose of establishing that entitlement.

(4)The power to make regulations under this section may not be exercised for the purpose of limiting the total revenues of relevant undertakers from charges fixed by or in accordance with charges schemes.]

Textual Amendments

F8S. 143A inserted (30.6.1999 for certain purposes and 23.12.1999 otherwise) by ss. 5, 17(2); S.I. 1999/3440, art. 2

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C2S. 143A: certain functions transferred to the National Assembly for Wales (15.11.1999) by S.I. 1999/2787, art. 3

144 Liability of occupiers etc. for charges.E+W

(1)Subject to the following provisions of this section and except in so far as provision to the contrary is made by any agreement to which the undertaker is a party—

(a)supplies of water provided by a water undertaker shall be treated for the purposes of this Chapter as services provided to the occupiers for the time being of any premises supplied; and

(b)sewerage services provided by a sewerage undertaker shall be treated for the purposes of this Chapter as provided to the occupiers for the time being of any premises which—

(i)are drained by a sewer or drain connecting, either directly or through an intermediate sewer or drain, with such a public sewer of the undertaker as is provided for foul water or surface water or both; or

(ii)are premises the occupiers of which have, in respect of the premises, the benefit of facilities which drain to a sewer or drain so connecting.

(2)Subject to subsection (3) below, charges which, under the preceding provisions of this Chapter, are fixed in relation to any premises by reference to volume may be imposed so that a person is made liable in relation to those premises to pay charges for services provided by a relevant undertaker after that person has ceased to be the occupier of the premises.

(3)A person shall not be made liable by virtue of subsection (2) above for any charges fixed in relation to any premises by any relevant undertaker, except where—

(a)he fails to inform the undertaker of the ending of his occupation of the premises at least two working days before he ceases to occupy them; and

(b)the charges are in respect of a period ending no later than with the first relevant day.

(4)For the purposes of subsection (3) above, “the first relevant day”, in relation to a case in which a person has ceased to be the occupier of any premises in relation to which charges are fixed by a relevant undertaker, means whichever of the following first occurs after he ceases to occupy the premises, that is to say—

(a)where that person informs the undertaker of the ending of his occupation of the premises less than two working days before, or at any time after, he ceases to occupy them, the twenty-eighth day after he so informs the undertaker;

(b)any day on which any meter would normally have been read in order for the amount of the charges to be determined;

(c)any day on which any other person informs the undertaker that he has become the new occupier of the premises.

(5)Where—

(a)any person who is the occupier of any premises to which a supply of water is provided by a water undertaker has served notice on the undertaker for the purposes of section 62 above; and

(b)that notice is given otherwise than in connection with that person’s ceasing to be the occupier of the premises in a case in which provision is made by virtue of subsection (2) above for a person who has ceased to be the occupier of the premises to be made liable for any charges,

then, notwithstanding that that person continues to be the occupier of those premises, he shall not be liable to the undertaker (otherwise than in pursuance of a demand for a supply made since the service of the notice) for any charges in respect of any supply of water to those premises after the appropriate time.

(6)In subsection (5) above “the appropriate time”, in relation to a case in which a notice has been served for the purposes of section 62 above, means whichever is the later of—

(a)the expiry of the notice; and

(b)the end of the period of two working days beginning with the service of the notice.

(7)In this section any reference to two working days is a reference to a period of forty-eight hours calculated after disregarding any time falling on—

(a)a Saturday or Sunday; or

(b)Christmas Day, Good Friday or any day which is a bank holiday in England and Wales under the M1Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971.

(8)Where, in the case of any premises—

(a)the person who was liable, immediately before 1st September 1989, to pay charges in respect of a supply of water to those premises was the owner of those premises, rather than the occupier;

(b)that person was so liable (under section 54 of Schedule 3 to the M2Water Act 1945 or any other local statutory provision) otherwise than by virtue of an agreement; and

(c)the person who was in fact the occupier of the premises on that date has not ceased to be the occupier before the coming into force of this Act,

then the person who is the owner from time to time of those premises shall continue, until the person mentioned in paragraph (c) above does cease to be the occupier of the premises, to be the person liable and, accordingly, shall be treated for the purposes of this section as if he were the occupier of the premises.

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