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Price Submission 2020 - 2023

Western Water has developed its Price Submission 2020-23 which sets out our proposed prices, tariffs, activities, service standards and spending from 1 July 2020 through to 30 June 2023.

The submission, based on feedback received from more than 4,000 customers, was lodged with the Essential Services Commission (ESC) for review in November. Our proposals are subject to the approval of the ESC. Their final decision will be provided in June 2020. Find out how you can have your say on the submission below. 

Our key proposals

Area Proposal
Affordable prices
  • The typical residential bill of $1019 per year will remain unchanged in year 1 (before inflation).
  • In years 2 and 3 of the pricing period, the typical bill will increase by 1% (before inflation). However, we expect this increase will be less if interest rates remain low.
  • New Customer Contributions charges to developers will increase by 5% per year (before inflation) for greenfield sites to better reflect the cost of providing services to new estates. Charges for infill sites will increase by inflation only.
Reduced fixed charges
  • The new tariff structure will increase the proportion of the bill that is variable (i.e. related to customer water usage) for typical customers, offering them greater control over their bills and encouraging water conservation.
  • Tier 1 and Tier 2 water usage rates will not increase (before inflation) over the three years.
  • Tier 3 water usage rates (which apply when a property uses more than 880 litres per day) will increase by 1.95% per year (before inflation). This increase will encourage water conservation. This change will not impact typical residential customers or non-residential customers as they do not pay Tier 3 rates.
  • The current Efficiency Rebate of $103.25 per year will be absorbed in our tariff structure by reducing the fixed charges paid by owner-occupier residential customers.
  • The Efficiency Rebate will cease for residential tenants and will be replaced by a special rebate equal of the full amount of the Efficiency Rebate in year 1. That rebate amount will then reduce gradually over the following seven years. This will allow them time to adjust to the loss of the Efficiency Rebate and reduce their bills by conserving water as much as possible.
  • To help all customers adjust to the changes in the tariff structure, we will expand and better promote our customer support services and put in place a comprehensive water conservation program.
  • Current charges for landlords and vacant land owners will increase by 1.5% per year over the three-year pricing period. However, this will be more than offset for the following seven years by an annual rebate of $14.75 from Western Water.
Improved services
  • We are committing to a continuous improvement approach to meet our service standards and guaranteed service levels.
  • We have included a new payment to any customer property affected by more than 5 water supply interruptions in a year.
Greater customer value

We are committed to identifying more efficiencies in running our business and also deliver against the five customer outcomes we identified through consultation:

  • Fair and affordable charges
  • Reliable, safe services
  • Innovative approaches to addressing customer needs
  • Care of the environment
  • Sustainable contribution to the community and regional liveability
Strong communities, growing together
  • Western Water will deliver to its vision through improved information services, community consultation and integrated water management, including delivering the actions in our Reconciliation Action Plan

How the community informed our proposal

More than 4,000 customers and hundreds of stakeholders and community organisations were included in our consultation for Price Submission 2020-23.

Four key topics were covered with customers and the community:

  • Tariff Structure Review
  • Future Pricing
  • Customer Outcomes
  • Service Standards and GSLs

We also engaged the development industry and related stakeholders on Developer Servicing Plans and New Customer Contributions.

Highly detailed, deliberative processes with representative customer groups were used to tackle the complex topics of our tariff structure and future pricing. We used the recommendations and feedback from these groups to the greatest extent possible as we prepared our submission for the ESC.

We also used mail, advertising, online surveys, face to face interviews, email and our consultation site, Water Matters, to gather input from customers, the community and other stakeholders.

Next steps

Date Step
15 November 2019

Western Water lodged its Price Submission with the ESC.

ESC begins reviewing the Price Submission, making it available online for customer submissions.

24 January 2019 Customer submissions to the ESC close.
March 2020 ESC releases its draft decision on the Price Submission, making it available online for feedback.
April 2020 Feedback on draft decision closes.
June 2020 ESC releases its final decision.
1 July 2020

The ESC-approved price path and services come into effect.

Your opportunity to have your say

The ESC has made Western Water’s price submission available online for customers to review and make submissions until 24 January 2020.

Visit the ESC’s Western Water 2020 price review page at Engage Victoria for more information.

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