Severn Trent launches industry first infrastructure charges discount scheme – helping developers make huge savings

Severn Trent has become the first in the market to launch a scheme that helps housing developers save up to 100% on their water and sewerage infrastructure charges by being more water efficient.

Steve Betteridge, head of developer services at Severn Trent, explains:

“Water is a precious resource, and one that’s going to become more so with time due to increases in the population and changing weather patterns.  We need to do everything we can to make sure that we can supply our customers with plenty of great quality water, but we also need our customers to think about using water wisely too. ”

“To make that easy, we’ve launched a new scheme to help our developers build water efficient homes by encouraging them to use certain fixtures and fittings, e.g. taps, baths, etc.… which means that less water is used in the home.  Anyone building a new home in the UK currently builds to a regulation standard of 125 litres of water per person per day (pppd), however it is possible to build to 80 litres.  If our developers can show us that they have built to 110 litres or less of water pppd they could get a 100 per cent discount on the water infrastructure charge – meaning that they pay nothing!”

Developers can also qualify for either a 75 per cent or 100 per cent discount on the sewerage infrastructure charge by showing us that a surface water connection is via a sustainable drainage system or that there is no surface water connection at all.  This is a key driver in reducing the risk of flooding in homes and streets caused by excess surface water.

Infrastructure charges are a one off charge, charged by all water companies for first time connections. Each new connection that adds a demand to the water and sewerage network will incur these costs. These charges ensure the upkeep and maintenance of the network.

Savings – in numbers (based on 2017/18 charges)…
If, on a new 250 domestic housing development, the developer opted to build to 110 litres of water pppd, as opposed to the standard 125 litres pppd, there would be an average saving (based on 2 people in a house) of 30 litres per day per household.

  • 30 litres x 250 houses on the site = 7,500 litres circa a day for just one site!
  • Over a year that’s a 2,737,500 litre saving on just one site – that’s just over the amount needed to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool!

The developer would have saved £91,362.50 worth of water infrastructure charges and potentially the same in sewerage infrastructure charges if there were no surface water connections on the site.

That’s a whopping £182,725.00 saving for the developer!

 We’re already receiving great feedback
Stephen Wielebski, Chairman National Technical Committee, at the Home Builders Federation (HBF) says

“This is a fantastic initiative and an innovative way to approach infrastructure charges. I will notify HBF members accordingly.  Well done Severn Trent!”

Paul Smith, Technical Director for Barratt Homes Mercia & David Wilson Homes Mercia said:

“David Wilson Mercia are happy to be involved in trialling the changes to the Severn Trent infrastructure charges.”

“At the heart of the David Wilson Homes business is a commitment to creating homes and communities that are sustainable places to live.  Our goal is to be the leading national sustainable housebuilder and this initiative makes a contribution.”

“We access our clean water requirement on an individual development basis to limit water usage acknowledging it is a precious resource, paired with Severn Trent’s ambition to become the most water efficient region within the UK.”

Steve added:

“I’m absolutely delighted that we are the first water company to launch a full infrastructure discount scheme across the whole of our region.”

“The scheme is fantastic because it incentivises developers to promote water efficiency and reduce the risk of sewer flooding by reducing surface water discharge into our network. We are demonstrating our commitment to change the market for the better and playing our part in enabling sustainable growth.”