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Water bills among Australia’s cheapest

THE average residential water customer in South Gippsland will continue to pay some of the lowest rates in Australia for water and sewerage services.
Average water bills in South Gippsland will remain relatively stable in 2018-19, with the average bill to remain at $996, according to the Essential Services Commission (ESC), the state’s water regulator.
The ESC issued its final pricing determination last week and said savings identified as a result of community feedback and discussion with SGW meant customers would now see lower prices than what SGW proposed, with only the Consumer Price Index (CPI) applied for the next two years.
SGW amended its original submissions and only sought increases of CPI for the next two years, across volumetric and service charges.
Under South Gippsland Water’s draft plan, customers faced paying up to $78 more each year on their water bills. Now the average household bill will remain at $996.
That average applies to an owner occupier using an average of 118kL of water per year – an increase of only $18 for the year, representing CPI.
This is on par or lower than most Melbourne customers and between $89 and $800 less than water bills received in major capital cities and territories across Australia in 2016-17.
SGW managing director Philippe du Plessis said, “Benchmark reporting has placed South Gippsland Water as one of the lowest charging water utilities in Australia. In real terms, South Gippsland Water prices have increased by only four percent over the last 10 years.
“In the context of customer affordability and a two year price period, South Gippsland Water has given a commitment to hold prices stable and only apply CPI for the next two years.
“South Gippsland Water is a state owned corporation with prices charged to meet capital and operating costs, not to generate profits for private investors. South Gippsland Water invests money into infrastructure for the benefit of our local communities.”
In developing its pricing submission, SGW conducted extensive customer consultation and the corporation remains committed to delivering on customers’ needs, as canvassed during consultation.
However, the corporation was concerned about the impact increased tariffs may have had on customers.
“South Gippsland Water remains committed to delivering a 1.5 percent efficiency target which was accepted by the commission,” Mr du Plessis said.
“The corporation will also continue to focus on assisting customers who may have difficulty paying their accounts.
“To this end, the corporation is implementing support programs to identify and support our customers who may be experiencing difficulty in paying their water bill.”
As part of the pricing review process, the ESC analysed SGW’s business and accepted there were unavoidable operating costs. These include expenditure associated with the Lance Creek connection, licence fees, bulk water entitlements and environmental contributions.
SGW will invest $32 million in capital expenditure over the next two years on infrastructure investments.
New water tariffs to come into effect from July 1, 2018.
SGW will need to provide the ESC with an updated pricing submission in about two years.

 

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=25284

Posted by on Jun 26 2018. Filed under Business. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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