Charging scheme development

The Reservoirs (Scotland) Charging Scheme 2018

In 2016, SEPA took over responsibility for regulating reservoirs from local authorities under the Reservoirs (Scotland) Act 2011 and the Reservoirs (Scotland) Regulations 2016. The Reservoirs (Scotland) Charging Scheme 2016 set out SEPA charges for 2016-2017 and 2017-2018. We undertook a consultation on the proposed 2018-2019 charges and in response to consultation fees were increased by RPI of 3%. We reviewed charges again in 2018-2019, this review confirmed that charges were consistent with the level of work undertaken. For 2021-2022 charges have been changed to reflect SEPA’s increase in costs by RPI of 1.13%.

The 2017 consultation documents can be viewed on our consultation website.

Environmental Regulation (Scotland) Charging Scheme 2018

The Environmental Regulation (Scotland) Charging Scheme 2018 came into effect on 1 April 2018. Between August and November 2017 we undertook a public consultation on proposed changes to the Scheme. We held a number of stakeholder meetings in September and October to discuss proposals and gain feedback. Our consultation, including analysis and response, are available to view on our consultation website.

Our intention is to review and consult on changes to the charging scheme to coincide with consultations on the proposed changes to the EAS Regs to ensure it is done efficiently both from a stakeholder and SEPA perspective. The new Environmental Authorisation Scotland Regulations (EAS Regs) are being brought in later than originally anticipated and this work will be completed in due course.

You can view the Update on SEPA charging scheme consultation(s) - objectives.

Environmental Regulation (Scotland) Charging Scheme 2016

Our new charging scheme came into effect on 1 April 2016. The Legal Scheme, Guidance and FAQs on the new scheme are available on our charging scheme webpage. The first annual invoices under the new scheme were issued during the first quarter of the 2016/17 financial year. Details on how to pay can be found on our finance web page. You can also request a payment plan.

A series of stakeholder workshops were held on the current charging scheme in early 2017. Further information is available in this presentation.

Charging scheme 2016 development - June 2015 consultation

The proposed scheme was released for public consultation on 25 June 2015. We wrote to all SEPA annual charge payers affected by our proposals, providing projected charges for each of the next five years to 2020-2021. 

Ten stakeholder workshops were held, providing information on our proposals and seeking feedback on the development of the scheme. During the consultation we received over 400 customer enquiries and 83 responses. The scheme has been revised in light of further stakeholder discussions and consultation responses and was approved by Scottish Ministers in February 2016.

Full details of the consultation are still available on our Consultation Website. We have also published a Summary and Analysis of Consultation Responses.

December 2013 stakeholder workshop

The purpose of this workshop was to provide an update on progress with the development of our regulatory charging scheme and to allow discussion and further development of proposals

June 2013 stakeholder workshop

This workshop explored four different types of risk assessment which could be incorporated into the new charging scheme. Each type of risk assessment was explored and compared against the following principles (as proposed in the winter 2012-2013 consultation).

  • Risk-based and environment focused.
  • Flexible and targeted.
  • Accountable, transparent and fair.
  • Stable and resilient.
  • Simple and proportionate.

The key conclusion was that each of the four types of risk assessment had their strengths for some parts of the range of chargeable activities. A mixture of these risk assessments was therefore seen as being most appropriate.

2012-2013 consultation

In winter 2012–2013 we consulted the Scottish Government on proposals for our future funding arrangements. This consultation considered in more detail the development of a charging scheme. In general the responses showed support for:

  • the proposed six principles which would underpin the development of the scheme;
  • a risk-based approach to charging based upon the proposed principles;
  • the introduction of a system of beyond compliance incentivisation;
  • an intervention charge for poor performers;
  • the use of an environmental resource principle being factored into charges for regulated businesses;
  • supported a funding model which included the concept of potentially including a standing charge element;
  • the introduction of voluntary agreements as described for major infrastructure projects.

2010 consultation

During 2010 we consulted on the high level principles associated with delivering better environmental regulation. The consultation posed a number of questions about what a future funding model should look like. In general, the responses showed support for:

  • moving to a more proportionate and risk-based charging scheme;
  • changing the funding model to charge on the basis of risk and performance;
  • achieving full cost recovery for regulatory requirements;
  • covering all costs from income streams to enable allocation of resources on the basis of environmental risk and harm, including tackling environmental crime and freeloaders;
  • continuation of a single annual charge applied to low risk or simpler permits;
  • an incentivisation scheme that would benefit higher performing operators.