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Water Act 2014

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

16Charges schemes
This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)In section 143 of the Water Industry Act 1991 (charges schemes), for subsections (6) to (9) (charges scheme not to take effect until approved by the Water Services Regulation Authority, etc), there is substituted—

(6)If the Authority considers that a relevant undertaker’s charges scheme does not comply with—

(a)subsection (2), (3) or (5),

(b)regulations under section 143A,

(c)rules under section 143B, or

(d)section 144A(9), (10) or (11)(a),

the Authority may give the undertaker a direction to do, or not to do, a thing specified in the direction.

(6A)The Authority must issue rules (and, if it revises rules it has issued, must issue revised rules) about consulting the Council about proposed charges schemes.

(6B)The rules must require a relevant undertaker that proposes to make a charges scheme to consult the Council about its proposed scheme.

(6C)If the Authority considers that a relevant undertaker has not complied with those rules, it may give the undertaker a direction to do, or not to do, a thing specified in the direction.

(6D)It is the duty of a relevant undertaker to comply with a direction under subsection (6) or (6C), and this duty is enforceable by the Authority under section 18.

(2)After section 143A there is inserted—

143BRules about charges schemes

(1)The Authority may issue rules about charges schemes under section 143.

(2)Rules under this section may in particular—

(a)make provision about the types of charges that may be imposed;

(b)make provision about the amount or maximum amount, or the methods for determining the amount or maximum amount, of any type of charge;

(c)make provision about the principles for determining what types of charges may or may not be imposed;

(d)make provision about principles for determining the amount of any charge that may be imposed;

(e)require particular schemes of charges to be available in specified cases;

(f)make provision about the timing of payment of charges;

(g)require charges schemes to be published;

(h)make provision about how charges schemes are to be published.

(3)The rules may provide for the reduction of charges under a charges scheme where conditions specified by the rules are satisfied.

(4)Rules made by virtue of subsection (3) may in particular specify conditions about—

(a)taking steps for the purpose of reducing or managing water consumption;

(b)taking steps for the purpose of reducing or managing the discharge of matter from premises;

(c)taking steps for the purpose of reducing the volume of surface water entering public sewers or the rate at which it does so.

(5)The provisions of charges schemes must comply with rules issued under this section.

(6)The rules may make different provision for different cases, including different provision in relation to different, or different descriptions of, persons, circumstances or localities.

(7)The power to make rules 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.

(8)The Authority may from time to time revise rules issued under this section and issue revised rules.

(9)The Authority must issue revised rules if—

(a)guidance is issued under section 143E, and

(b)the Authority, having regard to that guidance, considers that it is appropriate to revise the rules.

(10)Revised rules may include provision for applying any of their revisions to charges schemes under section 143 made before the revised rules come into effect.

143CRules under section 143B: procedure

(1)The Authority must have regard to guidance issued under section 143E in making rules under section 143B (as well as to any guidance issued under section 43 or 44 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010).

(2)Before issuing rules under section 143B, the Authority must—

(a)prepare a draft of the proposed rules, and

(b)consult the relevant persons about the draft.

(3)The relevant persons are—

(a)the Secretary of State;

(b)the Welsh Ministers;

(c)the Council;

(d)any relevant undertakers likely to be affected by the rules;

(e)such other persons as the Authority thinks appropriate.

(4)The Authority must specify the period (“the consultation period”) within which a person may make representations about the proposed rules.

(5)Before rules under section 143B prepared by the Authority are issued, the Minister may direct the Authority not to issue the rules.

(6)In subsection (5) “the Minister” means—

(a)the Secretary of State, so far as the rules in question affect relevant undertakers whose areas are wholly or mainly in England;

(b)the Welsh Ministers, so far as the rules in question affect relevant undertakers whose areas are wholly or mainly in Wales.

(7)A direction under subsection (5) must be given within the period of 28 days beginning with the day after the end of the consultation period, and rules prepared by the Authority may not be issued before that period of 28 days has expired.

(8)This section is subject to section 143D.

143DRules under section 143B: minor or urgent revisions

(1)This section applies if the Authority proposes to issue revised rules under section 143B and, in the view of the Authority, the revision or each of the revisions proposed to be made is—

(a)a revision for which consultation is unnecessary, or

(b)a revision that it is necessary or desirable to make without delay.

(2)Section 143C does not apply to the proposed revised rules.

(3)Before issuing the revised rules, the Authority must give notice to the Minister of its intention to issue revised rules.

(4)Before the revised rules are issued, the Minister may direct the Authority not to issue the revised rules.

(5)A direction under subsection (4) must be given within the period of 14 days beginning with the day after the day on which notice is given under subsection (3), and the Authority may not issue the revised rules in question before—

(a)that period of 14 days expires, or

(b)the Minister notifies the Authority that no direction under subsection (4) will be given in relation to the revised rules,

whichever is the sooner.

(6)Once the Authority has issued the revised rules, it must give notice as soon as reasonably practicable of—

(a)the issuing of the revised rules, and

(b)as regards each revision contained in them, whether in the view of the Authority the revision falls within paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (1).

(7)Notice under subsection (6) is to be given to such persons as the Authority considers appropriate.

(8)Unless the Authority gives notice that a revision in revised rules is in the view of the Authority a revision falling within subsection (1)(a), the revision ceases to have effect at the end of the period of six months beginning with the day after that on which the revised rules are issued.

(9)In this section “the Minister” has the meaning given by section 143C.

143ERules under section 143B: guidance

(1)The Minister may issue guidance as to the content of rules under section 143B.

(2)Before issuing the guidance, the Minister must—

(a)prepare a draft of the proposed guidance;

(b)consult the relevant persons about the draft.

(3)The relevant persons are—

(a)the Secretary of State;

(b)the Welsh Ministers;

(c)such other persons as the Minister thinks appropriate.

(4)The Minister may from time to time revise the guidance and issue revised guidance.

(5)Subsections (2) and (3) apply to revised guidance as they apply to the original guidance.

(6)The Minister must arrange for the publication of guidance issued under this section.

(7)In this section “the Minister” means—

(a)the Secretary of State, in relation to relevant undertakers whose areas are wholly or mainly in England;

(b)the Welsh Ministers, in relation to relevant undertakers whose areas are wholly or mainly in Wales.

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