Reasonable cost determination procedure

This page outlines WICS' procedure for raising a reasonable cost question


Connecting to the Network

If you are a developer looking to connect to the network, your first step should be to contact Scottish Water.

Reasonable Cost Contributions

Provided it is practical at ‘reasonable cost’ to do so, Scottish Water is required to provide every property within its area with a domestic water connection, domestic sewerage and services for surface drainage and trade effluent.

As a result, Scottish Water will pay a ‘Reasonable Cost Contribution’ (RCC) towards the costs of a developer connecting to its network.

The level of ‘reasonable cost’ is specified in Regulations issued by Scottish Ministers. 

To find out more, please refer to Scottish Water’s connection guidance documents.

Appealing a Reasonable Cost Contribution

From time to time, disputes may arise between Scottish Water and developers regarding the level of RCC available for each connection. We expect Scottish Water to work with developers to try to resolve any issues.

If you are unhappy with how Scottish Water has assessed the costs of connecting to its network in your case, your first step should be to raise the issue directly with Scottish Water

However, if after contacting Scottish Water, you are still unhappy with the assessment, you may appeal to WICS. This is known as a ‘Reasonable Cost Question’.

The role of WICS is to determine whether Scottish Water has, in a particular case, properly applied Scottish Ministers’ Regulations in arriving at its assessment of connecting to its network.

Raising a Reasonable Cost Question

To raise a Reasonable Cost Question, you will need to submit the following:

  1. a written request, stating the nature of the question and explaining any material issues; and
  2. copies of all relevant correspondence with Scottish Water (including, where possible, application, drawings and reports).

We use an evidence-based approach so you will need to include any relevant evidence. Without such evidence, we may not be satisfied that there is a genuine question for us to determine.

Providing us with all the information we need at the beginning will help to speed up the determination process.

Our procedure

The procedure we follow in reviewing Reasonable Cost Questions is set out below. 

Although we will always endeavour to achieve the timescales stated, in some circumstances it may not be possible to complete our work within that time. We will advise you if this is the case.



Indicative timescale


Acknowledge receipt of request

We acknowledge that we have received your request and open a case.

We issue a unique reference number and provide contact details for further queries regarding the case.

Within 10 working days


Assess jurisdiction

We assess whether we have jurisdiction to deal with your request under the relevant legislation. If we require further information in order to make this assessment, we will ask you or Scottish Water for this within 20 days of receipt of your request.

Note that for us to conclude that we do have jurisdiction, we will need to be satisfied that before approaching us, you have taken reasonable steps to resolve the relevant issues with Scottish Water.

If we conclude that we do not have jurisdiction to deal with the matter, we will tell you.

Within 10 working days of receipt of request, unless further information required


Issue draft determination

We give our decision on the question and explain our reasoning.

If necessary, we say what we think the Reasonable Cost Contribution should be.

If we did not receive all the information we needed, our decision will be based on the information that was provided alongside any assumptions we consider reasonable.

We send a copy of our draft determination to any other statutory body that we consider has a material interest in the outcome of the question.

Within 30 working days of receiving all required information


Issue final determination

We issue a final determination that takes into account any responses to the draft determination.

Within 25 working days of receiving responses to the draft determination, unless a longer timescale is agreed


Publish final determination

We publish our final determination on our website.

If you consider any part of the final determination to be sensitive, you should notify us within 15 working days of receiving it.

Within 25 working days of issuing the final determination

Making a request

Requests should be sent either in writing (by post) or by email. If you submit your request by email, we will still need copies of all relevant correspondence.

While we are not able to process requests received by telephone, we are happy to clarify procedural details over the phone.

We are also happy to consider alternative formats for requests in the case of a disability. Please contact us if this applies to you.

Contact details


Reasonable cost determinations

Water Industry Commission for Scotland

First Floor, Moray House

Forthside Way




Telephone: +44 (0) 1786 430 200

Further information

If you would like to find out more, our detailed procedure for determining reasonable cost questions is attached to this page.

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