Business across Co Armagh are facing further strain with a hike in water and sewerage charges from next week.
NI Water has today (Tuesday) announced that from Saturday, April 1, 2023, non-domestic water and sewerage charges will rise by 13.4% on average.
The company has cited “significant financial pressures from rising energy prices and other cost increases”.
NI Water Director of Finance, Regulation & Commercial, Ronan Larkin, commented: “We are aware how challenging the environment can be for local businesses within the economy right now. In previous years, we have been able to limit the non-domestic price increase to strike a balance between generating sufficient income and minimising the impact on business customers.
“Whilst NI Water has again absorbed as much cost as possible, the company is facing significant financial pressures from rising energy prices and other cost increases.
“We have worked hard to ensure most of our customers will see their bills rise by less than inflation.”
He added: “It is well documented that NI Water needs to receive full funding to ensure we continue to deliver a water and sewerage service that represents good value for money.
“The revenue from bills will help support necessary investment in our infrastructure, benefitting the local economy and environment. However, even with full funding and bill increases, historic underinvestment will take in the region of 12 to 18 years to remedy.”
The new charges mean that measured customer bills will rise by 12.7%, while unmeasured and trade effluent bills will rise by 13.7% and 15.5% respectively.
Mr Larkin says that this compares favourably with other utilities across gas and electricity sectors.
He continued: “NI Water is mindful of the impact of price rises, it is therefore important that customers who may need extra help with their bill communicate with us as soon as possible. Our billing team will be on hand to offer guidance, including payment breaks or longer repayment plans.
“We have enhanced our online self-service portal with a smarter navigation to help provide a better experience when paying a bill, managing accounts, or viewing water consumption details.”
Leaflets will be mailed to non-domestic customers to notify them of the forthcoming pricing changes and how they will be applied.
Customers can access further information about the charges on NI Water’s website.
Anyone with questions about their bill can phone the Billing Enquiries Team on 03458 770030.
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