The value of water in Scotland

Customer Forum is a body that negotiates independently with the water provider on behalf of customers to ensure that the customer has a say in water issues and is charged fairly for the service provided.

Research Task

Research was required to help Customer Forum build on existing research by Scottish Water to gain a deeper understanding of consumers' water and waste water needs, and to assess what was considered a realistic and acceptable rate of increase in price based on the level of service provided.

Research Method

Extended focus groups and depth interviews were conducted with Domestic customers and Business customers. Respondents were recruited by council tax band and businesses according to their size and and use of water. A series of evaluative exercises were used to explore price sensitivity and assess how people put a value on clean and safe water provision.

Research Results

The findings showed a passive-positive level of satisfaction with water, with relatively low awareness of its cost and acceptance of the price once they were told about it. There was a general expectation that the price would rise in line with inflation, although businesses were more likely to query the suggestion of higher prices unless evidence could be given of what infrastructure investments were being made that would benefit their premises. (see full report)

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