Each month during the coronavirus pandemic we are reporting on the number of customers who are receiving or applying for various forms of support from their water business.
Water customer support during the coronavirus pandemic
During the coronavirus pandemic, we are regularly requesting data from Victorian water businesses on the number of water customers who:
- are on payment instalment plans
- are in hardship programs
- have received a water business hardship grant
- have applied for the utility relief grant
- have their water supply restricted.
We are providing information about the data we receive on this page.
Each week data is reported by all 15 urban water businesses.
Key findings from our August report:
Victoria’s water businesses continue to provide additional support to customers during the pandemic
Water businesses have been proactive in reaching out to customers, including small business and other non-residential customers, to ensure they are aware of existing support programs as well as new support measures developed in response to the pandemic.
More customers applied for government Utility Relief Grants in August than in July
The average weekly application rate was 660 in August, up from 515 in July. In the past month there was a peak of 714 weekly applications and a low of 541 applications.
The weekly number of metropolitan customers awarded hardship grants has decreased in August compared to July but is still trending higher than last year
On average 303 metropolitan customers were awarded hardship grants each week in August, 45 (13 per cent) fewer than the July average but 125 (70 per cent) more than the pre-pandemic norm of 178. Before February this year the number of metropolitan customers receiving hardship grants largely remained below the pre-pandemic norm but has since trended well above the norm.
In regional Victoria, the July weekly average was 270 grants, 51 fewer than the July weekly average but just over four times the pre-pandemic norm (about 67 grants awarded per week).
The number of customers on water business hardship programs increased in August
The number of metropolitan customers in water business hardship programs increased by 572 (2.7 per cent) from 21,243 at the end of July to 21,815 at the end of August.
The number of regional customers on water business hardship programs increased by 115 (2.0 per cent) from 5,736 at the end of July to 5,851 at the end of August.
Water businesses have stopped restricting customers’ water supply
At the end of August, 64 customers across the state still have their supply restricted, 10 fewer than at the end of July.
View the full end of August report
Adopting national coronavirus support principles into water codes
In August 2020 we also amended our water customer service codes to include national support principles for customers facing hardship due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic
On 1 July 2021, City West Water and Western Water integrated to form Greater Western Water.