Water price review
Our submission on pricing has been lodged with the ESC
Our submission on pricing for the 2018/19-2022-23 period was lodged with the Essential Services Commission on 28 September 2017.
Help us set future prices and service levels.
We are planning for the services we will provide and our prices from 1 July 2018 to 2023.
What is a water price review?
Every five years all water businesses undergo a Water Price Review run by the Essential Services Commission (ESC).
Water businesses in Victoria are required to make a price submission which sets out their proposed prices and service standards by 27 September 2017.
The ESC will assess the pricing submissions, guided by the requirements and principles set out in a ministerial order and the legislation.
The pricing power and functions of the ESC in Victoria's water industry are governed by the Water Industry Regulatory Order 2014, which sits within the broader context of the Water Industry Act 1994 and the Essential Services Commission Act 2001.
Our price submission proposal aims to deliver the services that our customers want at what they determine is the right price.
At the end of the price review the ESC makes a price determination, which specifies the maximum prices each water business can charge over the next period.
In addition to our consultation and research, for the past three months we have been hosting a Citizens' Jury who have considered the insights from our customer research and engagement, heard from speakers chosen by our stakeholders and themselves, read submissions made by the public and deliberated over the content to assist us find a balance between price and service that is fair for everyone.
The Yarra Valley Water Citizens' Jury has now completed their deliberation and have presented a report and their recommendations to Yarra Valley Water's Chair and Managing Director in response to the challenge before them:
We need to find a balance between price and service which is fair for everyone. How can we do this?
Yarra Valley Water would like to extend our thanks and express our great appreciation to the customers who joined us as members of our Citizens' Jury and committed their time and boundless energy to the task before them. We are grateful for their participation.
Our response to the Citizens' Jury's recommendations
We recently met with our Citizens’ Jury for the final time to formally respond to their Recommendations.
The Jurors spent more than 40 hours over three months addressing their challenge: ‘We need to find a balance between price and service which is fair for everyone. How should we do this?’
- explored the insights from our customer research and engagement,
- heard from experts chosen and elected by our stakeholders and the Jury,
- read submissions made by the public, and
- considered the details provided in our comprehensive Jury information pack.
Their Recommendations were provided to our Chair, Sue O’Connor and our Managing Director, Pat McCafferty for the Board’s review and consideration at the Jury’s final meeting.
Yarra Valley Water will pursue all ten of the Citizens’ Jury recommendations. Eight of the recommendations will be fully adopted with some minor variations to the remaining two.
We will use these Recommendations to anchor our price submission and focus our business efforts overall to deliver greater value to our customers. While customers want to avoid increases to their bill increase, they have also told us that small annual price changes are better than a single large change, and they value increased service levels over a bill decrease.
We know that affordability of essential services is an important issue for households and businesses. We are committed to delivering productivity savings to take pressure off prices and pass these savings onto customers. We will continue to support customers having difficulty paying their bill with sensitivity and empathy, and ensure that a genuine inability to pay does not compromise access to essential water and sanitation services.
For the price submission, we want to know more about you and what you want.
We are committed to engaging with our customers throughout the whole process. Our customer engagement in relation to the price submission so far, has been to identify what customers value most and plan accordingly. To date, this is a summary of what we have uncovered:
- Customers want: safe, reliable services - clean drinking water, reliable sanitation services and quick responses when anything goes wrong.
- Customers want: us to use our expertise to make appropriate decisions and to manage resources appropriately.
- Customers want: us to keep prices down and accommodate future supply needs.
For more information on our engagement process so far, please contact Janet Wade.