New prices 2018–2023

New prices apply from 1 July 2018, following extensive community consultation.

 

Message from Managing Director Tracey Slatter

Thank you to our customers and community who have played a significant role in shaping our prices and services for the next five years.

We spent 18 months listening and responding to your suggestions and feedback and I’m proud to say our final Price Submission, which was approved by the independent Essential Services Commission in June, was built on the things you said were important.

This includes keeping bills stable and investing in key areas such as helping more people in hardship, helping customers save water and reducing impacts on the environment through greater use of recycled water, renewable energy and reducing emissions.

Customers can be assured that through our strong discipline of saving $26 million in our operating costs over the next 5years we will be able to keep our bills stable and low. Barwon Water already has one of the lowest bills in Australia for a water company of our size – this next price period should see this continue.

Over the past five years (2013–2018), Barwon Water’s prices have reduced 7.6% (excluding inflation). By the end of this new pricing period, the average bill for a residential owner occupier will be $1,038 which is $163 less than in 2013 ($1,201).

We look forward to continuing to provide outstanding value to our customers and the community by delivering high quality, affordable and reliable water services over the next five years and will keep seeking your input and feedback on our services and priorities.

 

At a glance

  • Average residential customer bills will remain steady from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019. There will be no price increase other than inflation.
  • For the four years from 2019/2020 to 2022/2023 increases of less than 0.5% will apply (excluding inflation).
  • We’re giving customers greater control over their bills by changing the split between fixed and variable charges. This means, more than ever, customers can save money by using less water.
  • We will invest an additional $1 million a year in customer hardship and water efficiency programs.

 

Delivering customer outcomes

We engaged extensively during the development of our price submission and are pleased to put forward a plan that sees us continuing to invest in areas customers said were important to them.

This includes:

  • allocating an extra $500,000 per year for water efficiency programs to help our customers
  • a strong capital works program, with $328.6 million to be spent over the five years on new and replacement infrastructure. This includes $15.4 million for renewable energy projects.
  • providing tenants with a quarterly transition credit on their bill to help them shift to the new arrangements
  • tripling financial support for customers in hardship, with an extra $500,000 each year
  • providing more timely notice of water supply issues via SMS/ digital communication.

 

Keeping residential bills stable, fair and low

Under our new pricing plan, which comes into effect on 1 July 2018, there will be no increase to average residential customer bills this year other than inflation.

For the following 4 years, we will increase average bills by less than 0.5%. This is equal to a $3.25 a year increase or $13 in total between now and 2023 (excluding inflation).

(An average customer is a household using 160 kilolitres of water per year.)

 

More control over your bills

As a result of your feedback, we are giving customers greater control over their bills by reducing the fixed component and increasing the variable component of water charges.

By 2023, 73% of the water charges on an average home bill will relate to the amount of water used, not fixed charges. This means more than ever, customers can save money by using less water.

 

Support for tenants

Changing the proportion of fixed and variable water charges on residential bills creates a small bill impact for tenants because they only pay the water volume charge.

To help reduce any bill impacts, we will automatically provide a transition credit so that average residential tenant bills from 1 July 2018 will not increase from last year (as is the case for average residential owner-occupiers).

 

Supporting our customers

We offer a number of solutions for customers who may be experiencing financial hardship, including payments, audit program, direct debits and utility grants.

 


 

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.
28 March 2018 The Essential Services Commission releases its draft determination, rating Barwon Water's submission as 'advanced'.
19 June 2018 The Essential Services Commission releases its final determination, approving Barwon Water's proposal.
1 July 2018 New prices come into effect.