Under its proposed plan, Coliban Water’s typical annual water and sewerage bills for customers will increase by 1.9 per cent each year in 2023-24 and 2024-25, then by 2.5 per cent each year to 30 June 2028, before inflation.
Coliban Water’s proposal to boost its investment in ageing assets such as its water reclamation and treatment plants, to help meet its environmental and health obligations and deliver service levels expected by its customers, is partly driving the proposed price changes.
Under the business’s proposed prices, the average bill for households will rise from $1,367 in 2022-23 to around $1,393 in 2023-24, then to around $1,529 by 2027-28, before inflation.
The commission’s director of pricing Marcus Crudden says Coliban Water has recognised the impact these proposed price increases will have on customers, and plans to double its funding for support for customers experiencing vulnerability, and to increase education about services for customers experiencing hardship.
“We encourage customers to contact Coliban Water if they are experiencing difficulty paying bills, to discuss what assistance or arrangements can be made,” Mr Crudden said.
The commission’s draft decision has not approved Coliban Water’s new customer contributions.
“Our draft decision finds that Coliban Water has not sufficiently made the case to justify its proposed increases to new customer contributions.”
“The Essential Services Commission thanks customers and stakeholders for their submissions and participation to date. We value and encourage feedback on this next stage to help inform our final decision on Coliban Water’s 2023-28 pricing proposal,” Mr Crudden said.
The commission’s final decision on the Coliban Water pricing proposal is due in June 2023.
This article was updated on 12 April to correct the closing date for submissions to 12 May 2023 (previously stated as 9 May 2023).