I am really struggling with household costs already and have seen last week that the price of water bills is going up. I didn’t think we paid for water in Scotland. Can you help?

Many people are feeling the pinch with rising costs for things like electricity, gas, and other household essentials. You have done the right thing by looking into what options may be available to you.

You are not alone in your current situation, and support is on hand to help.

Most households in Scotland are provided with water from the public supply by Scottish Water. Some people may have a private source, and therefore a private water supply, in some instances supplied by someone else, for example those who live permanently in mobile homes.

If you have a private water supply, you do not have to pay Scottish Water for it but there are some rules you must follow.

If your home is connected to the public water supply and you have a water meter, you will pay Scottish Water directly and they will send you a bill.

If your home is connected to the public water supply and you do not have a water meter, you will pay for your water with your council tax.

Costs for Water – Council Tax Bill

When you receive your council tax bill for the year it will state the additional amount that is being charged for water, depending on which council tax ‘band’ your home is in. This is collected by your local authority and passed on to Scottish Water.

Your local authority will have council tax reductions and exemptions available to different people for various reasons.

What reductions are available?

If you are exempt from paying the council tax, for example, because of being a full-time student; if your property is undergoing major work; or if you suffer from severe mental impairment, you are unlikely to also be exempt from paying metered water charges.

If your council tax bill includes an additional amount for water and/or sewerage charges, this must be shown on the paperwork that you receive. If you are unsure what these charges are, or require a copy of your bill in writing, you can request this by contacting the team that deal with council tax at your local authority.

You can find contact information for your local council by visiting

They will also be able to advise of any discounts, reductions, or exemptions that may be available to you, depending on your personal circumstances.

I am struggling – Can you help?

If you are struggling with other household bills, it is important to remember that there are sources of support out there that can help you get back on track.

Advice Direct Scotland run, who can provide support on a range of money and debt-related matters by looking at your current situation and the potential solutions that may be available to you – both formal and informal.

They can also check for any additional benefits that you may be entitled to. For more information, you can contact 0808 800 9060, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, or visit

There are other sources of support available to you that may also be able to help if you require assistance.

The Scottish Government’s Home Heating Support Fund, administered by Advice Direct Scotland can help Scottish citizens who are struggling with energy bills; self-rationing energy to afford other essentials; or who are at risk of self-disconnection.

I hope this helps.

You can access free, impartial advice on any topic from Advice Direct Scotland by contacting 0808 800 9060 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm), or by visiting Advice is available to everyone in Scotland, at no cost, regardless of personal circumstance.