Annual water performance report shows water businesses are performing well
12 December 2023
Victoria’s independent economic regulator has today released its Water Performance Report 2022-23. The report shows that water businesses are performing well and have maintained a strong focus on supporting their customers and community.
Customer bills remained relatively steady over the reporting period, with the typical annual bill in Victoria $10 lower than in 2021-22. Despite this, more customers sought and received help for financial hardship. Almost 4,000 customers across Victoria received hardship grants from their water business, and 33,325 customers received $9.1 million in Utility Relief Grants from the Victorian government.
Executive Director of Price Monitoring and Regulation, Marcus Crudden, says water businesses are generally doing a good job of containing price rises, and help is available for customers who are unable to pay their bills.
“Although water bills went down on average across Victoria, cost of living pressures are leaving some customers struggling to pay their bills. Customers facing financial hardship should speak to their water retailer about available supports, which might include hardship grants, flexible payment plans, having applicable concessions applied to their water accounts, or help applying for a state government-funded Utility Relief Grant,” Mr Crudden said.
The report also found water usage went down by 5.9 per cent across the state, to the lowest average level since 2010-11. This coincided with unusually wet conditions, including severe flooding that affected many communities in northern and central Victoria. Despite these challenges, some key indicators of service performance – such as water and sewer network reliability – improved in 2022–23, indicating continued good levels of service overall.
Mr Crudden says these outcomes show customers continue to receive good value from their water businesses. “Our annual water performance report shows businesses generally performed well in 2022-23. As we head into a predicted hotter, dryer summer alongside ongoing cost-of-living pressures in 2023-24, water businesses should continue to focus on supporting their customers and community.”