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 December 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 during December compared to November
The average weekly application rate was 554 in December, up from 507 in November. In the past month there was a peak of 760 weekly applications and a seasonal dip of 175 applications in the last week of 2021 over the New Year period. We expect numbers will pick back up again in January as they did last year. In metropolitan Victoria, the average weekly application rate increased to 459 in December from 378 in November.
The weekly number of customers awarded hardship grants decreased in December compared to November
On average 232 metropolitan customers were awarded hardship grants each week in December. This was three more than the November average of 229 per week, and 54 more than the pre-pandemic norm of 178.
In regional Victoria, the December weekly average was 236 grants, 10 fewer than the November weekly average. This is three and a half times the pre-pandemic norm (about 67 grants awarded per week).
The number of customers on water business hardship programs increased in December
The number of metropolitan customers on water business hardship programs increased by 88 (0.4 per cent) from 21,065 at the end of November to 21,153 at the end of December.
There was a decrease of 29 customers in regional Victoria, where the figure at the end of December was 5,775 compared to 5,804 at the end of November (a 0.5 per cent decrease).
Water businesses have stopped restricting customers’ water supply
At the end of December, 51 customers across the state currently have their supply restricted, one fewer than at the end of November.
View the full end of December 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.