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Deemed contracts and default tariffs

Deemed contracts

What is a deemed contract and when does it apply?

In the Scottish water and sewerage market, a deemed contract applies in the interim when a business customer is using water or sewerage services (including drainage where applicable) but has not agreed a contract with a retailer.

When this is the case, a retailer is automatically allocated to a customer. Under a deemed contract, a customer cannot be charged more than the default maximum tariff and must be given at least the default minimum level of service. When a customer is supplied under a deemed contract, its retailer will notify it of the particular charges that will be applied.

A deemed contract may apply if:

•     you have started receiving water or sewerage services (including drainage where applicable) but have not yet chosen a retailer – including where Scottish Water has written to you requesting that you choose a retailer, but you have not responded within 15 working days;

•     your retailer has stopped operating within the Scottish water and sewerage market and you are re-allocated to another retailer; or

•     you have recently moved into a new premises.

The only parties in the deemed contract are you and the retailer that has been given responsibility for collecting your charges.

Further information on deemed contracts can be found here:

Deemed contracts offer customers the flexibility to switch to any other retailer or negotiate an alternative specific contract with their current retailer or another retailer at any point in time.

Default tariffs

In order to protect customers, WICS requires retailers to provide default services to all business customers (regardless of the location or size of their business) at a price no higher than a default tariff. Retailers therefore compete in the market by offering a lower price than the default tariff. Retailers can charge business customers above the default tariff by offering additional or more tailored services than the default to their business customers.  

You can find the 2021-22 default tariffs by accessing the following link: