FAQs: What makes up my charges?

Charges billed to you depend on the tariff and services the Wholesaler has given to a particular Supply Point Identifier (SPID), and can include (but are not limited to):

  • Potable Water
  • Non-Potable Water
  • Metered Foul Sewerage
  • Fixed Meter Charges
  • Surface Water
  • Highway Drainage
  • Trade Effluent

Each individual charge billed to you is then composed of two elements:

  • Retail charges - These are charges directly passed on to you by Wave
  • Wholesale charges - These charges are passed from Wholesalers to Wave through a process known as Settlement, which are then charged to you

Can I see what I pay to the Wholesaler and to Wave?

The rate for each charge displayed on your bill is the total of the Wholesale and Retail charge combined for clarity. This is shown on the first page of your bill, where we provide the total charges paid towards Wholesale and Retail charges respectively.

Why do Wholesale charges make up a larger proportion of my bill?

While a Retailer will look after your account, have your meter read and liaise with the Wholesaler on your behalf; the Wholesaler owns and upkeeps all the assets needed to maintain your water supply. Although water may fall from the sky, delivering clean, safe and reliable water to your property is more complex. Wholesalers must abstract the water from the environment and then clean the water to the required quality standards, and move the water to your property, which involves electricity and other equipment to pump the water through the pipes. These costs are proportionally more than a Retailer’s costs, which is why they make up a bigger percentage of your bill.

Are these prices fair?

Wholesalers (just like Wave) operate as a regulated business, because of this, the changes they can make to their charges are limited and closely monitored. The water regulator Ofwat conducts an extensive exercise with all water industry stakeholders to determine and fix price controls for a five-year period. This exercise is known as the Price Review (PR) and was last carried out in 2019 to fix how much revenue can be recovered for the 2020-25 period.

At the heart of Ofwat’s Strategic Priorities is to serve and protect customers, so prices are considered with customer’s best interest at the forefront, however the Price Review also assesses what activities are required to keep operating and to fulfil all Wholesaler’s legal obligations. The assessment looks at what maintenance, new investment and operating costs will be needed as well as considering that efficiencies must be made.