Proposed prices and services 2018–2023

Barwon Water needs to set prices and services for 2018–2023. In developing the proposal, we’re considering:

  • customer and community feedback
  • operating and capital costs
  • inflation
  • cost of living pressures
  • future challenges.

After public consultation, we are required to submit our pricing proposal to the Essential Services Commission, the independent regulator of the water industry, who will make a final determination on the prices we can charge customers.

New prices will come into effect on 1 July 2018.

 

Have your say

Learn more, join the conversation and have your say on our proposed prices and services at our dedicated microsite.

Feedback is invited until 23 July 2017.

  Your say: Proposed prices and services 2018–2023

 

What we propose

Taking into account community feedback, we propose to the deliver five key outcomes:

  1. a reliable, secure water future for our region
  2. timely, innovative services for our customers
  3. a healthier environment for all
  4. stronger partnerships with our community, and
  5. bills that are as low as possible for all of our customers.


A key proposed action is to change the split between water volume charges and fixed water service charges for residential customers. Under the proposed model, fixed service charges will form a smaller portion of bills, while the water volume charge will increase. This will give customers greater control over their bills, and rewards customers who use less water.

Key investments over the next five years include at least:

  • $47 million to repair and replace ageing infrastructure
  • $14 million for new and upgraded infrastructure in regional growth areas
  • $25 million in renewable energy projects, and
  • an additional $500,000 annually on programs to support vulnerable customers.

 


 

Frequently asked questions

Haven’t my bills been going up?
Will you pass on your costs through higher bills?
Are bills increasing because of the Barwon Water head office redevelopment?
What will Barwon Water do to support customers?
What happens to the Victorian Government water rebate?

 

Haven’t my bills been going up?

No. Barwon Water prices have been falling since 1 July 2013.

Although our operating costs continue to increase, we are proud to have reduced prices by an average of by 1.6% per year (excluding inflation) over the past five years.

 

Will you pass on your costs through higher bills?

We are working hard to keep bills fair and low in the face of challenges such as delivering water security and investing in innovative infrastructure to address climate change.

Some increases are necessary to fund infrastructure and initiatives to ensure we continue to provide high quality, reliable water and sewerage services.

 

Are bills increasing because of the Barwon Water head office redevelopment?

No. The Barwon Water head office redevelopment project is cost-neutral. It has not (and will not) impact customer prices.

Operational savings of up to 45% and consolidation of buildings and assets fund this project.


What will Barwon Water do to support customers?

We know that customers experience financial hardship from time to time.

We will invest an additonal $500,000 annually in programs to support vulnerable customers.

Existing financial support programs will continue, including discounts for concession-card holders and the utilities relief grant.

  Need help paying your bill?

 

What happens to the Victorian Government water rebate?

For the past four years, Barwon Water has made cost savings to fund the Victorian Government water rebate on the first quarterly bill of the financial year.

The rebate was provided to residential customers who paid the water volume charge. Landlords and non-residential customers did not receive the rebate.

From 2018/2019 onwards, Barwon Water will maintain the cost savings made to fund the rebate, but will pass these savings through as lower water prices. This means that customer bills will remain stable and as low as possible.

  Government water bill rebates

 


 

Timeline

July 2017 Barwon Water releases proposed prices and services to the community for review.
August to September 2017 Barwon Water finalises the 2018 Price Submission taking into account community feedback.
29 September 2017 Barwon Water submits 2018 Price Submission to the Essential Services Commission.
October 2017 to June 2018 The Essential Services Commission reviews the Price Submission and makes its price determination.
1 July 2018 New prices come into effect.