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 summary report covering data to end of June:
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 June compared to May
The average weekly application rate was 711 in June, up from 634 in May. In the past month there was a peak of 777 weekly applications. In metropolitan Victoria the average weekly application rate rose to 540 in June, up from 464 in May.
The weekly number of customers awarded hardship grants increased in June compared to May
On average 260 metropolitan customers were awarded hardship grants each week in June. This was 34 more than the May average of 226 per week. In regional Victoria, the June weekly average was 258 grants, eight more than the May weekly average of 250. This is almost four times the regional pre-pandemic norm (about 67 grants awarded per week).
The number of customers on water business hardship programs was similar in June as it was in May
The total number of metropolitan customers on water business hardship programs increased by 88 from 22,269 at the end of May to 22,357 at the end of June. The number of regional customers on water business hardship programs decreased by 85 from 6,044 at the end of May to 5,959 at the end of June.
The number of payment instalment plans decreased in May
The total number of payment instalment plans across the state decreased by 252 (0.2 per cent) in May, to 149,541 at the end of the month.
Water businesses have stopped restricting customers’ water supply
At the end of June, 33 customers across the state currently have their water supply restricted, five fewer than the number reported at the end of May.
View the full June 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.