We outline our proposed investments, levels of service to customers and changes to water pricing.
It is our submission to the Essential Services Commission (ESC) for the five year period beginning from 1 July 2013.
The ESC reviewed our Water Plan as part of its review of the plans of the state's water utilities and made a price determination for Yarra Valley Water in June 2013.
This determination has resulted in the average household bill increasing by 23% in 2013/4, 0% in 2014/15 and 2.2% in 2015/16, predominately due to inflation and the cost of the Victorian Desalination Plant.
To help ease the impact of price increases, we are offering our customers the Smoothpay payment plan, where customers can choose to pay their bills fortnightly or monthly, rather than quarterly.
For business customers the prices have increased by similar amounts.
Significant tariff changes approved by the ESC for the 2013-18 period are:
- Introduction of service charges based on a water connection (rather than property title) progressively until 2015/16.
- Recycled water charges no longer pegged to the potable water price.
- Introduction of risk ranked based annual fees for trade waste customers.
- Undertaking a tariff choice trial among a small group of residential customers involving a 100% usage charge for water and sewerage services. We will share our findings on the outcome of this trial and provide regular updates to the ESC.
We were the only Victorian urban water utility which had a revenue cap form of price control approved by the ESC to ensure customers are never overcharged while ensuring an adequate revenue stream for the business. This avoids the situation of customers paying too much when demand is higher than forecast.