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Water research

Water research papers

The role of customers in Victoria’s new water pricing framework (PDF, 627kb)
10 Oct 2016

Presented by Dr Ben-David at the International Water Regulators Forum hosted by the International Water Association, Brisbane.


A new approach to regulatory pricing (PDF, 777kb)
3 Oct 2016

Over the last 12 years independent, expert and transparent scrutiny of the water industry has produced tangible benefits for customers. The evidence is clear. Independent economic regulation has brought a much clearer focus on performance and prices to the Victorian water industry. While these successes are notable, they do not imply or justify complacency. More can be done to promote efficiency and the outcomes valued by customers. For this reason, the Essential Services Commission (Victoria) has embarked on a wide ranging review of the design of the economic regulatory framework we administer.


Tips and Traps. A director's guide to the new water pricing framework in Victoria (PSF, 415kb)
9 Sep 2016

In this paper, Dr Ben-David briefly reflects on the reasons why the Essential Services Commission considered it necessary to modernise the way it approves prices proposed by the State’s regulated water businesses. In developing a new framework, the Commission adopted four high level objectives concerning: Customers, Autonomy, Performance and Simplicity. Beyond these four objectives lie three central mechanisms that thread their way through the framework binding it into a comprehensive whole. These mechanisms are: Engagement, Incentives and Accountability. These mechanisms are not new to economic regulation but the framework imbues them with renewed vitality. Dr Ben-David outlines 12 key messages to the water businesses to assist in their application of the new framework.


In whose long term interest is customer consultation by water authorities? (PDF, 648kb)
20 Nov 2015

Dr Ben-David examines the reasons for water authorities to consult with their customers on various matters. He addresses these issues through the lens of the Commission’s statutory objective to promote the long term interests of consumers, before reaching a somewhat unexpected conclusion about the purpose of customer consultation.

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