We are reviewing our urban and rural water customer service codes to ensure they continue meeting the needs of Victorian water consumers.
Water codes review 2019
Workshop 120 June 2019
Workshop 2August/September 2019
Draft decisionDecember 2019
Consultation periodDecember 2019/January 2020
This review will consider how we can make improvements to better protect and promote the long term interests of contemporary Victorian water consumers.
As part of this work, we are reviewing our urban and rural water customer service codes. We're also reviewing our 'reasonable endeavours' checklist, as it relates to the hardship-related guaranteed service level (GSL).
We'll be meeting with the Victorian water sector through 2019-20 to inform our review of the codes.
View all of our customer service codes.
Documents we're reviewing
What our review will cover
Bills and meter reads
The review will concentrate on billing and backbilling of customers, and the use of a customer's own meter reads.
The review will look at:
- access to supply for life support customers
- assistance available to customers who experience difficulty paying their bills
- how the energy sector's payment difficulties framework could be relevant to the water sector
- ensuring that restriction of water supply due to non-payment remains a measure of last resort.
Customer notification and other communication
The review will look at notification around planned and unplanned interruptions to supply, and the way water businesses communicate with customers.
Our workshops will bring the sector together with community advocacy organisations and specialist services to form a common understanding of the issues we are currently facing and of the community outcomes we hope to achieve through our review of the water customer service codes.
Our first workshop, held on 21 June 2019, looked at best practice for making customer information accessible to all Victorian water consumers. Presentations from that workshop are available on the resources page.
What's changed since the launch of these codes
Since the launch of our urban and rural customer service codes in mid-2000s, we have seen significant changes in the sector, including:
- how we regulate Victoria's water pricing framework (PREMO)
- the introduction of new consumer protection for customers affected by family violence.
In the energy sector, we also introduced the Payment difficulties framework (effective from 1 January 2019) to better support electricity and gas customers who are facing difficulties paying their bills.
Given these changes, we are considering the operation of the water customer service codes and reasonable endeavours checklist as it relates to the hardship related guaranteed service level measures.