Annual performance scorecard for 2020–2021 (year 3)


Every five years, Barwon Water develops a Price Submission, a five-year plan which outlines our proposed water and sewerage prices, service standards, infrastructure and operational investments from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2023.

The plan was developed in partnership with our customers and community following 18 months of community conversation and is our commitment to delivering greater value for our customers.

As part of our Price Submission, we committed to:

  • continually involve our customers and community in our decision making,
  • hold ourselves to account and honour what we said we would deliver,
  • regular ‘check-ins’ with our customers and community to ensure their values are aligned with our service, and
  • ensuring our actions align with what our customers want us to do.

Barwon Water is working hard to keep customer bills affordable, while at the same time investing in critical water and sewerage infrastructure and initiatives to use more recycled water, reduce energy costs and help customers pay their bills and save water.

During 2020-2021, we worked towards delivering five service outcomes our customers told us they most valued and expected from their water and sewerage services:

  • Outcome 1 - A reliable, secure water future for our region
  • Outcome 2 - Timely, innovative services for our customers
  • Outcome 3 - A healthier environment for all
  • Outcome 4 - Deeper knowledge and partnerships with our community
  • Outcome 5 - Affordability for all our customers

Reporting on our performance to customers

Our year 3 annual performance scorecard provides a snapshot of our performance against these outcomes. It shows how we continue to deliver upon the priorities our customers told us they most valued and expected from us during the 18 months of engagement leading up to our price determination.

With our customers in mind, we set ambitious targets for ourselves and in 2020-2021 we met 29 of our metrics and are continuing to revise our performance to ensure we achieve all outcomes by the end of the regulatory period (30 June 2023).

Supporting customers remains our priority, which is why we committed an extra $2.5 million over the life of the five year price period to help customers in hardship. We also committed an extra $2.5 million to help customers with water efficiency initiatives including identifying and reducing leaks which is not only good for the environment but also helps keeps bills down.

Our Strategy 2030 vision “enabling regional prosperity” and our organisational values – caring, safe, inclusive, accountable and courageous - are demonstrated in the many examples throughout this performance report.

Essential Services Commission outcomes reporting

The Essential Services Commission (ESC) regulates the Victorian water sector, monitoring and requiring us to report on our performance against measures for each customer outcome.

The ESC also monitors customer perceptions of all Victorian water corporations through quarterly surveys with the results shared on their website. In the August 2020 to April 2021 results, Barwon Water was rated first for overall satisfaction and reputation, and second in the Victorian water sector for value for money and trust.

Customer engagement

We felt it was important to test our assumptions about our performance with our independent Customer and Environmental Advisory Committees. We met with them in May and July 2021, inviting feedback on our performance, and our self-rating, for each outcome.

Both committees were positive about Barwon Water’s performance in 2020-2021. They provided valuable feedback that the performance assessment framework itself should have more flexibility so that minor non compliances for individual metrics should not automatically mean the rating is red. In the instance of Outcomes 1 and 2, where this occurred, both Committees felt strongly that the overall outcome rating should be green or amber for Outcome 1 (not red) and green for Outcome 2 (not red).

We also engaged with key customer stakeholder groups and businesses across our region on perception of performance.

The overall satisfaction rating from key stakeholders was 86% (target 76% and 2020 result 85%). 88% said Barwon Water was a respected community partner and 87% said Barwon Water was a trusted brand. There was also strong support from those surveyed for our five key customer outcomes with an 89% support rating.

The most positive impact was the increase in the approval rating for the respective questions of  Barwon Water involves my organisation in future planning (^6%) and Barwon Water involves the community in future planning (^4%).

Among business customers surveyed 84.3% agreed that Barwon Water was a trusted brand; satisfaction was rated 76%, 67% value for money and 88% support for our five customer outcomes.

Summary of results

The table below summarises our overall performance over the current pricing period to date using a traffic light system for each outcome, with an overall green rating in all years.

1. A reliable, secure water future for our region
2. Timely, innovative services for our customers
3. A healthier environment for all
4. Deeper knowledge and partnerships with our community
5. Affordability for all of our customers

Each outcome below is made up of a number of indicators and our performance for each measure is summarised using the traffic light system similar to the table above.

The ESC uses the same methodology in tracking our performance and full details are available on the ESC website which highlight our targets, results and detailed commentary.

Performance Incentive Mechanism

In our Pricing Submission to the Essential Services Commission (ESC) in 2018 we also included a ‘Performance Incentive Mechanism’ which commits that if we do not meet a four specific performance indicators aligned to our customer outcomes, we will return up to $11.5 million to our customers in the next pricing period (2023–2028) or $2.9M for each of the four overall measures:

  1. Zero Waste (Outcome 1)
  2. Customer Service Index (Outcome 2)
  3. Network Performance Index (Outcome 2)
  4. Zero Emissions (Outcome 3)

The value to be returned reflects our ESC Outcomes reporting results and the how much targets were exceeded.

The current value ($) forecast to be returned in the next pricing period is $0.096M and $0.058M from our 2018-2019 and 2020-21 results respectively.

  • In 2018/2019 we did not meet the ‘number of customers who have more than two sewer spills to their property in a year’ target in the Network Performance Index due to three consecutive overflows on two adjacent properties in December 2018 (return of $0.096M)
  • In 2020/2021 we did not meet the ‘Number of customers who have more than five unplanned water supply interruptions in the year’ target in the Network Performance Index due to varying reasons including the complexity of the repair and geographical location of the fault. (return of $0.058M)
Zero Waste (Outcome 1)
Volume of recycled water allocated for productive use by 2022/2023
$0 $0 $0

Customer Service Index (Outcome 2)
Customers who receive a grant (rebate bill credit) from Arrange & Save payment incentive program.  (Total per year)*
Number of customers who receive e-billing
Number of complaints to Energy Water Ombudsman Victoria / 1,000 customers
First point resolution rate through the Customer Centre
Customers who are able to receive communications via SMS.

$0 $0 $0

Network Performance Index (Outcome 2)
Compliance with water security statement ‘Percentage of time water restrictions are in place’
Unplanned water supply interruption restored within 5 hours (%)
Planned water supply interruption restored within 5 hours (%)
Number of customers who have more than five unplanned water supply interruptions in the year
Number of customers who have more than two sewer spills in a year
Number of water quality complaints / 1,000 customers.

$0.096M $0 $0.058M
Zero Emissions (Outcome 3)
Total emissions, reported in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO₂-e) by 2022/2023
$0** $0** $0**
Overall$0.1M $0.0M $0.058M

* It should be noted that this measure has been renamed since our 2018 Price Submission where it was called ‘Number of customers engaged and supported through Barwon Water’s hardship payment plans’.
* this measure tracks our performance over 5 years of this pricing period and the value paid will be finalised at the end of these 5 years