On this page, you’ll find information on how we regulate water prices, and how your water bill is calculated by your water business.
How we regulate water prices
We approve the annual tariffs that regulated water businesses charge their customers in each financial year.
How your water bill is calculated
Bills are a combination of how much water you consume, prices for fixed- and variable-rate tariffs, and other charges.
Sometimes water prices will go down but your bill may not. This is due to the relationship between prices and the other parts that make up your water bill.
Regulated water businesses regularly calculate the predicted revenue they’ll need to:
- provide services
- comply with policy
- implement health and safety requirements
- invest and earn a return on investment.
This calculation is called a ‘revenue requirement’. It is used to determine the water prices you pay.
When we conduct a price review, we aim to ensure that water prices reflect an efficient revenue requirement. This helps enable each regulated water business to deliver its services while maintaining value for its customers.
We are responsible for approving maximum prices for water, sewerage and related services.
Tariffs are a way to organise prices (such as fixed and variable). Laws and regulations decide who pays what sorts of tariffs: for example, variable and fixed for owner occupiers, and variable only for tenants.
Tariffs may be fixed, or they may vary depending on the amount of water you use. Using fixed or variable tariffs provides signals to customers about the cost of providing a service. Tariffs may also be used to support water efficiency measures.
Water businesses are responsible for developing and applying tariffs in consultation with customers.
Water (expressed in kilolitres) is measured at your water meter during a billing period. You are charged for your water consumption based on relevant tariffs. You are responsible for water consumption and any water leaks on your side of the meter.
Other organisation’s charges
We don’t regulate government charges, such as the parks charge.
Melbourne Water passes on a water and drainage charge. We approve the maximum price of this charge when we review Melbourne Water’s prices.
Government water rebate
Some water businesses applied a rebate to residential bills from 2013 to 2017. For many water users, this rebate was shown as an annual credit on their water bills. These rebates will end in 2017–18.