Future of household water bills under scrutiny

04-Oct-2017 6:00 AM

The prices households will pay for water services from 1 July next year are under scrutiny as Victoria’s economic regulator reviews price proposals from the state’s water businesses*.

The Essential Services Commission has received submissions from water businesses outlining their plans for prices applying from 1 July 2018.

Commission chair Ron Ben-David says it’s the first water price review under a new approach designed to give customers more say.

‘The new framework is all about the water companies shifting their focus to demonstrating value for money, and engaging their communities in determining priorities,’ he said.

The new pricing framework is aimed at increasing efficiency across the sector and delivering outputs that matter to customers.

The new framework provides stronger incentives for water businesses to deliver better value to customers with the rate of return they claim linked to the level of ambition in their pricing proposals.

Dr Ben-David says the new approach offers the sector incentives to pursue cost efficiencies and deliver better services. 

‘Water businesses were required to assess the level of ambition in their own plans, with a leading proposal expected to demonstrate significant improvement in the value of services delivered to customers,’ he said.

Customers are now being asked to have their say on the water plans with submissions available for comment on the commission’s website at www.esc.vic.gov.au/waterpricereview. Initial submissions should be sent to water@esc.vic.gov.au by 10 November 2017.

Customer feedback will be considered as part of the commission’s initial assessment ahead of our draft decisions. Further feedback on the proposals will be invited at that time. 

* Our review includes Barwon Water, Central Highlands Water, City West Water, Coliban Water, East Gippsland Water, Gippsland Water, Goulburn Valley Water, Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water (GWMWater), Lower Murray Water, North East Water, South East Water, South Gippsland Water, Southern Rural Water, Wannon Water, Western Water, Westernport Water and Yarra Valley Water. Does not include Melbourne Water and Goulburn Murray Water. 
For further information call: Michelle Bryne, Senior Manager, Strategic Communication,
9032 1324 or 0437 677 385