Each month during the coronavirus pandemic we are reporting on the number of water customers who are receiving 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 16 urban water businesses and not audited by us.
Key findings: October 2020
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.
The number of metropolitan customers on water business hardship programs continues to steadily increase
The number of metropolitan customers on water business hardship programs increased from 18,195 at the end of September to 18,507 at the end of October.
In regional areas, the number has continued to fluctuate from week to week and was 5,709 at the end of October.
Fewer customers applied for government Utility Relief Grants during October compared to September
The average weekly application rate was 492 during October, down from 775 in September. The weekly rate peaked at 602 in early October and dipped to 380 towards the end of the month.
Fewer customers received hardship grants from their water business during October, compared to the end of September.
The October weekly average of 533 customers awarded hardship grants was 4.5 per cent lower than September’s average of 558.
While the number of customers awarded hardship grants at each business continues to fluctuate week by week, 714 customers received grants in the final week of October, 260 more than the last week of September.
Water businesses have generally stopped restricting customers’ water supply and initiating legal action for non-payment of bills since at least late April.
Since the last week in September, one supply restriction has been lifted At the end of October, 128 customers still have their supply restricted across the state.