Utilities in <u>Edinburgh

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Your Complete Guide to Utilities in Edinburgh

Are you moving and want to know more about Edinburgh? Our complete guide to utilities in Edinburgh will explain in detail everything about broadband, area codes, power generation and energy distributors, and Edinburgh water and sewerage. Keep reading to learn everything about utilities in Edinburgh.

About Edinburgh, Edinburgh

Edinburgh EH91 has a population of 459,366 and is located in the county of Edinburgh. Edinburgh has a population of 524,930 people.

Who supplies my water in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh water services are provided by Scottish Water. Below are the main phone numbers for Scottish Water:

How to get in touch with the water supplier in Edinburgh

Speaking to an advisor at Scottish Water is one of many contact methods to discuss your Edinburgh water problems.

In the table below we have listed the main phone numbers for Scottish Water general enquiries and emergencies.

Scottish Water telephone number Scottish Water Emergency telephone number
0800 077 8778 0800 077 8778
24/7/365
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Write to Scottish Water

You can also get in touch with Scottish Water, you have the choice of posting a letter or sending an email. You can also send your request via the Scottish Water website.

Customer that want to post a letter to Scottish Water can do so by writing to the Scottish Water address below:

Scottish Water Address
Head Office, Castle House, 6 Castle Drive
Dunfermline
KY11 8GG

Customers that would rather email Scottish Water, you must use the following email address:

Scottish Water Email Address
help@scottishwater.co.uk

Price of water in Edinburgh

Water bill in Edinburgh

Water rates in Edinburgh will vary depending on if your home has a water meter or not. You can easily find out whether your Edinburgh water rates are metered or not by looking at a recent water bill or by getting in touch with the supplier. Homes with metered Edinburgh water rates will have a meter number listed on their water bills.

Metered Customers in Edinburgh

Customers that have a water meter at their Edinburgh home will pay a fixed annual charge, plus an additional charge for each cubic meter (m3) that is consumed. The fixed charge is to cover the essential running costs of Scottish Water. Whilst the variable charges are for the consumption at your Edinburgh home.

Unmetered Customers in Edinburgh

Customers who don't have a meter at their Edinburgh home have an annual charge for their water consumption. This charge is fixed, this means you will pay the same amount regardless of how much water consumed at your Edinburgh home.

The rate unmetered customers pay for water in Edinburgh will be based on the rateable value of your home. The rateable value part of your Edinburgh water rates would have been determined by the local council in the 90s and are unlikey to have changed since then.

Should I get a water meter installed? It really depends on how much water you consume annually. If your family is small, or you don't live with others, getting a water meter for your Edinburgh could be cheaper.

Customers with big families are probably not going to save money by installing a water meter.

How do I pay my Edinburgh water bill?

First, you must sign up and register with Scottish Water. After you've registered with Scottish Water, you can decide how you would like to pay your bill, such as:

  • Direct Debit
  • Online payments
  • Pay over the phone
  • Bank transfer
  • Payment by cheque
  • Payment card

You should also be able to choose how frequently you pay your Edinburgh bill. Whilst some customers would prefer to pay annually, other customers would prefer quarterly, monthly, or even weekly payments instead. As soon as you've set up your Scottish Water account, you will be able to choose your preferred payment method and frequency.

Can I switch the water supplier in Edinburgh?

Unfortunately, your water supplier is fixed and depends on the catchment area based on your postcode. As a customer in Edinburgh EH91, your water supplier is Scottish Water.

Since April 2017, business water customers have been able to switch water suppliers. You can find out if your business is eligible in our guide to switching water suppliers.

Edinburgh Water Frequently Asked Questions

Below we have answered some common questions that customers in Edinburgh have about their water supply.

Frequently Asked Questions About Water in Edinburgh

Is the tap water in Edinburgh safe to drink?

Yes! The tap water is safe to drink in Edinburgh. You can rest assured that Edinburgh water meets high standards making it safe to drink. The UK Drinking Water Inspectorate has rated Edinburgh water quality 99.94% in overall mean zonal compliance, meaning that your water is safe to drink. It is not required to boil or filter Edinburgh water to make it drinkable.

Where does the water in Edinburgh come from?

There are three main sources of water that supply Edinburgh:

  • Surface sources - 93%
  • Groundwater sources - 6%
  • Mixed sources - 1%

How hard is the water in Edinburgh

While rainwater itself is relatively soft, water hardness can change through the water cycle. As rainwater filters through rocks, it picks up minerals, such as magnesium and calcium. The more minerals the water picks up, the harder is your water considered.

The water hardness rating in Edinburgh is fewer than 60ppm, that makes the water hardness in in Edinburgh is rated as soft water.

What does this mean?

The water supply to your home in Edinburgh contains a minimal level of hard water minerals. soft water means your home appliances should be more efficient and your clothes will come out softer after washing. It also means less limescale build-up in your home appliances meaning they should not break down as often.

Selectra recommends

You don't need to add a water softener to the water in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh No Water

If there isn't any running water in your Edinburgh home, you will first need to find out whether the problem is with your home plumbing or if the issue is within your neighbourhood in Edinburgh.

If there is no water at your Edinburgh home, do you only have no cold water or no hot water? If you still have cold water but no hot water, the issue will be with your home plumbing and not a problem affecting Edinburgh.

If your home has no cold water, not even a trickle, contact Scottish Water for advice. You can also try the following:

  1. Check the "In Your Area" sections of the Scottish Water website for any information explaining why you have no water.
  2. Have a look at the Twitter account for Scottish Water, they will often tweet updates when there's a problem.
  3. Check with your neighbours to find out if they also have no water.
  4. Make sure your stop tap is in the open position.

Edinburgh water leak or flooding

Edinburgh water problems might include anything from flooding or a leak, to a burst water main in your Edinburgh home. This is why you should make sure you know what to do and who to contact regarding water emergencies.

If you find a water leak or flooding that's not inside your Edinburgh property, you must do one of the following as soon as possible:

  1. Ring Scottish Water regardless if the problem relates to wastewater or clean water.
  2. If you can go on the internet at your current location, go to the "report a leak" section of the Scottish Water website and complete the online form to report the issue.

Why does the water in Edinburgh taste strange?

If you find the taste or smell is different with your Edinburgh water this may be due to one of the following reasons:

  1. Chlorination is a safe way to make sure the pipe network maintains high levels of hygiene throughout.
  2. Seasonal changes can infuse the Edinburgh water with a somewhat earthy aroma or taste.
  3. Plumbing can also contribute to the taste of your household water, adding rubbery, salty, or metallic hints to Edinburgh water.

If you have questions about your water's taste, smell, or appearance, you should not hesitate to reach Scottish Water via the contact channels listed above.

Broadband in Edinburgh EH91

Edinburghinternet connected globe

The broadband speed you get at your Edinburgh home is dependant upon several factors such as:

  • Availability of fibre
  • Distance from the telephone exchange
  • Location of the router in your home
  • Using wi-fi or ethernet connection
  • Your broadband provider

Test how fast your internet is and see how it compares to the average broadband speed for Edinburgh with our quick and easy to use internet speed test tool.

Did you know that the average download speed in the UK is around 62.5Mbps?

Edinburgh Average Download Speed Edinburgh Average Upload Speed
118.90 Mbps 22.30 Mbps
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The way you choose to connect to the internet can affect the speed you get at your home in Edinburgh. An FTTP is currently the fastest broadband connection you can get in the UK at the time of writing, this has been rolled out to 31.83% of homes in the UK.

ADSL internet connections are the slowest, in parts of the UK that are more remote it's the only type of internet connection that's available.

What should you consider when picking a broadband provider in Edinburgh?

It's 2022, which means the internet is just as important as any other utility, perhaps more important. That means choosing an internet service provider could feel daunting. Don't worry, we've listed the four important points worth considering before picking a broadband provider in Edinburgh.

Availability

The first thing you need to think about before picking a broadband provider in Edinburgh is what's available. Whilst many homes in Edinburgh can take advantage of superfast' or fibre connections, customers who live in a rural location may have limited access to the type of connection.

However, new builds and properties that have been constructed in the last few years may already have access to ultrafast FTTH because property developers will often choose to install the latest infrastructure when constructing new homes.

Type of connection

What are the different types of connection in Edinburgh?

  • Fibre broadband
    • This is fastest connection that's currently available in Edinburgh
    • Fibre broadband is split into two categories, they are known as 'Superfast' and 'Full Fibre'
    • Superfast broadband has a download speed of more than 24 Mbps.
    • A Full Fibre connection has a faster download speed from 300 Mbps up to 1 Gbps.
  • ADSL or ADSL2
    • An internet connection that's delivered through a standard telephone line.
    • Slower speeds up to 24 Mbps.
    • Available to the majority of Edinburgh homes.
  • Cable
    • Speed that are the same as, or faster than, fibre broadband.
    • Only available with Virgin Media.
    • Restricted availability in some parts of Edinburgh.
  • 4G/5G, Mobile, and Satellite Broadband
    • Speed is dependant upon the mobile signal strength in Edinburgh.
    • Could prove more expensive unless you have an unlimited data tariff.
    • No special equipment required by tethering to your smartphone, although some of the mobile networks in the UK will not allow tethering.
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Edinburgh broadband value for money

Edinburgh broadband bill

You should also think about how much it costs for the broadband in Edinburgh. There are many providers offering a low cost deal for new customers, but the price is often for a limited period. We recommend you double check the terms and conditions of the deal before you sign up to a internet service in Edinburgh. Some providers will raise the price even during the initial contract period. For example, recently there was a BT price hike which will be felt by millions of BT customers.

Edinburgh Broadband Reliability

How reliable the broadband is in Edinburgh must also be considered, with so many people that work from home on a part-time or full-time basis, we need to have a reliable internet connection to do your work is a priority.

The times when we're not working we're watching movies online or gaming online which without a reliable broadband connection at your Edinburgh home will be an important thing to consider.

Edinburgh broadband customer service

Finally, the technical support for your Edinburgh broadband connection is really important. There's a good chance you will never need to contact the internet service provider you choose, however, if you have an issue and need to get in touch with them a provider with excellent customer service that deals with your query quickly and efficiently is a strong plus when you choose a broadband provider in Edinburgh.

Broadband FAQ

In the FAQ below, we've answered the frequently asked questions that customers in Edinburgh have about broadband internet.

Broadband Frequently Asked Questions

What's the average broadband speed in Edinburgh?

The average broadband speed in Edinburgh is:

Edinburgh Average Download Speed Edinburgh Average Upload Speed
118.90 Mbps 22.30 Mbps

What do ADSL, Superfast, FTTC, FTTH, and FTTP actually mean?

To put it in simple terms, this is the way of connecting to the internet.

  • ADSL: Asymmetric digital subscriber line - with this kind of broadband you can get speeds up to 24 Mbps. However, the speed will be slower the further away you are from the telephone exchange.
  • Superfast: This is a kind of fibre broadband connection with download speeds of at least 30 Mbps.
  • FTTC: Fibre To The Cabinet - this kind of fibre connection is first delivered to one of those green boxes on your street in Edinburgh, it's then connected to your house through your traditional copper wire telephone line.
  • FTTP/FTTH: Fibre To The Premises/Home - This type of fibre connection is use 100% fibre cables to your Edinburgh property. This means it's very fast and extremely reliable. At present, 31.83% of houses in the UK .

What speed internet is best for me?

That would depend on what kind of internet user you are. Have a look at the following table to find out the kind of broadband speed you should choose when getting connected in Edinburgh.

Main internet uses Recommended Download Speed 2 devices or less
2 devices or less Email, web browsing, working from home (WFH), light streaming, etc 10-25 Mbps Broadband
3-5 devices AAll the above, plus online gaming and 4K streaming 50-100 Mbps Broadband
Over 5 devices All the above plus large file transfers or streaming your own video content on the web 100+ Mbps Broadband

What's the difference between 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz WiFi?

2.4ghz and 5ghz are the kinds of radio frequencies that internet routers use to transmit the data between your devices. 2.4Ghz WiFi travels further, but does so at slower speeds. 5Ghz WiFi signals don't have as much range, but your data will be transmitted faster.

What's the telephone area code for Edinburgh

Corded telephone area code Edinburgh

The telephone dialling code, sometimes called the area code, for Edinburgh is 0131. If you call someone in Edinburgh, and you are not in the same area, you should add 0131 before the number you're trying to call.

How much does an 0131 Edinburgh call cost?

If you have a call plan with your landline or mobile, then the call cost will probably be included in that tariff. Without an inclusive calls plan, you can expect to pay around 10p per minute, plus a small call set-up charge.

If you are uncertain whether you have a plan that includes calls, you should ask your provider before making the call to avoid additional charges on your next phone bill.

How many different area codes are there in the UK? There are 645 area codes in the UK incl. Northern Ireland. They are a mix of three, four, or five digits long.

Electricity and Gas in Edinburgh

Residents of Edinburgh are free to choose their gas and electricity provider, but regardless of which supplier they choose, the gas and electricity is going to be maintained and supplied by the local network operator.

These network operators are officially called Distribution Network operators (DNOs) and they are the company that own and operates the infrastructure that connect your Edinburgh home to the electricity grid and gas networks.

In many cases you will never need to ever contact the Edinburgh distribution network operator, but should you ever need to, you can easily find out which DNO is responsible for Edinburgh below.

You can also read more about what a Distribution Network Operator (DNO) does in our Distribution Network Operator guide

Electricity Distribution Network Operator responsible for Edinburgh

The electricity distribution network operator for Edinburgh is SP Energy Networks - Central & Southern Scotland. You can find the SP Energy Networks - Central & Southern Scotland contact details in the table below:

SP Energy Networks - Central & Southern Scotland Contact Information
General Enquiries 0330 101 0444
Emergencies 0800 092 9290
Email customercare@spenergynetworks.com
Website https://www.spenergynetworks.co.uk/
Address Customer Contact Team, SP Energy Networks, 320 St Vincent St
Glasgow

There are six electricity distribution network operators in the UK:

  1. Electricity North West
  2. Northern Powergrid
  3. SSE Networks
  4. SP Energy Networks
  5. UK Power Networks
  6. Western Power Distribution
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Power Generation near Edinburgh

There are no power plants within a 10 mile radius of Edinburgh.

Fossil Fuels

In 2021, a total of 47.4% of the UK’s electricity was generated by burning fossil fuels. The majority of which was natural gas (42%) and coal (2.7%). In addition, a small percentage was produced from other types of fossil fuels (2.7%). The electricity produced from fossil fuels does change each year.

Nuclear Power

16.1% of electricity was generated by nuclear reactors in 2021, in the next few years we can expect this to reduce as nuclear power stations in the UK’s begin to close, only one will still be generating energy 2035. However, there are plans to build new nuclear reactors such as Hinkley Point C which is under construction.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy produced 40.3% of electricity in 2021, that's up from 29% in 2018. Renewable fuel is generated from souces such as hydro, solar, wind, and biomass. We can expect to see this continue increasing as the UK is focussed on meeting its net-zero targets.

Towns and Cities Near Edinburgh

If you've ever wondered which municipalities are close to Edinburgh, we've found the five nearest towns and cities to Edinburgh.

Closest five municipalities to Edinburgh
Municipality Distance from Edinburgh
Murrayfield 1.9 miles
Haymarket 1.9 miles
Oxgangs 2.38 miles
Colinton 2.38 miles
Slateford 2.71 miles