NI Water to increase bills for non-domestic customers

By Clodagh Rice
BBC News NI

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image captionBusinesses face bills increase

NI Water is increasing prices for its 80,000 business customers by 2.7% from April.

The rise will impact non-domestic customers, which includes businesses, schools, hotels and farmers.

For example, it will mean a shop or small office will see their average annual bill rise by £9.

Whereas on average, a medium sized factory will see a £96 increase in its annual bill.

The amount by which NI Water can increase customer tariffs is determined by the Utility Regulator.

NI Water finance director Ronan Larkin said: "NI Water, like other businesses, has been impacted by rising inflation which increases the cost of providing water and sewerage services to customers.

"My message to businesses is that in real terms, they are still paying a bit less than they were in 2015."

He added: "Most of our funding comes from government sources and we have to compete for funding with all the services here in Northern Ireland.

"The message we get back from users and not least industry, is that they want to see the right amount of money being invested in water and wastewaster infrastructure here."

Graham Smith, head of water policy at The Consumer Council, said: "Any increase is unwelcome, however we are glad that NI Water has listened to its business consumers and are limiting the increase below that available.

"We will continue to work with NI Water on the affordability of its services."