Western Water prepared its price submission for the three-year period from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2023.
It included proposals for tariffs, prices and services informed by extensive community engagement.
Key factors considered in Western Water’s proposals were maintaining affordability, encouraging customers to conserve water and addressing demand for services from population growth.
In June 2020, the Essential Services Commission (ESC) released its final decision on Western Water’s price submission setting out the maximum prices that Western Water may charge for its services.
Highlights of the ESC's determination
- Western Water’s typical annual residential customer bill of just over $1000 will remain unchanged in 2020/21 (before inflation).
- In the following two years, the typical bill will increase by 4% (before inflation) which is around $40 per year.
- Charges to developers (New Customer Contributions) will increase by 5% per year (before inflation) for greenfield sites to better reflect the cost of providing services to new estates.
|Reduced fixed charges|
- The new tariff structure will reduce fixed service availability charges by just over $100 per year. The lower fixed proportion of bills will encourage customers to use less water to save money. This change became possible by absorbing the existing Efficiency Rebate into the tariff structure.
- To encourage water conservation where possible, the Tier 3 water usage rate (which applies when a residential property uses more than 880 litres per day on average) will increase by 2% per year before inflation in 2020/21. Support - including a large family discount - will be available to affected water users.
- Our service standards have been reviewed and our performance will be reported annually on the website.
- On top of existing guaranteed service levels, a new payment of $100 will apply to any customer property affected by more than 5 water supply interruptions in a year.
- Close to $300 million will be invested in infrastructure works to provide services for new customers and maintain existing services over the next three years. Major projects include: commencement of the Western Irrigation Network, increased recycled water storage at Melton Recycled Water Plant, construction of the Melton-Bacchus March recycled water interconnector pipeline, a new wastewater diversion to City West Water at Derrimut, and upgrade works for the Gisborne Recycled Water Plant including a new bioreactor
|Greater customer value|
Five customer outcomes have been identified through consultation and will be reported against each year:
- 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.