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  • by Trevor Loveday

Industry, government and regulator hatch water retail plan to "minimise disruption"

The Scottish government, Scottish Water, the Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS) and the Central Market Agency (CMA) have agreed a package of measures worth £60 million to help businesses facing difficulties with water charges during the coronavirus outbreak.

Scottish Water said its agreement to suspend pre-payment charges for licensed retailers for two months, will enable them to "be flexible with their own customers." The CMA is to introduce further measures to assist the 30 licensed water retailers in the Scottish market including the suspension of all performance standard charges. "This will further assist licensed providers to focus their efforts on supporting customers," said the Scottish government.

Environment secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, said the measures "will minimise disruption in the retail water market and help to provide some extra reassurance to businesses throughout Scotland as we face up to the challenging weeks and months to come.”

Chief executive of Scottish Water, Douglas Millican, said the steps will "reduce the financial stress on the retail water market," during the crisis." Chief executive of WICS, Alan Sutherland, said the measures will "help ensure an orderly market." He added: "We would urge market participants to work together to assist customers."

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