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People expect better value services and lower bills for the next five years from Gippsland Water

Gippsland Water customers can expect better value services and lower bills over the next five years, following the Essential Services Commission's draft determination of its latest price submission released this week.

By news@gippsland - 2nd March 2023 - Back to News

The submission, which outlines Gippsland Water's service standards, investments and charges for 2023-28 was shaped by customer input over the last two years. Managing director Sarah Cumming said it delivers on the values most important to the community, with a strong focus on affordability and fairness.

Gippsland Water customers care about affordability and fairness and they wanted lower bills and a fairer tariff structure, and thatís what GIppsland Water have delivered

Gippsland Water customers care about affordability and fairness and they wanted lower bills and a fairer tariff structure, and that's what GIppsland Water have delivered

Expect price decrease

Ms Cumming said, "First and foremost, our customers expect us to be affordable and fair. They want lower bills and a fairer tariff structure - and that's what we've delivered. They also want us to plan for the future, be environmentally responsible and involved in the community, do our job well and be easy to deal with."

Gippsland Water's submission, which has been fast-tracked for preliminary approval and assessed as advanced by the independent regulator, includes year-on-year bill reductions (before inflation) made possible by savings, additional revenue from major customers and development activities, and fees and charges redesigned to reflect a user pays approach.

"The average urban residential customer will see a price decrease of $80.64 across the regulatory period (before inflation) while small businesses will save around $120.29 on average, with the majority of the savings applied in the first year," Ms Cumming said.

Lowest water bills

Ms Cumming said, "Almost all of our tariffs and charges will fall in this upcoming pricing period and we're confident that our residential tenant customers will pay close to the lowest water bills in the state."

Initiatives planned include:

  • $268 million for infrastructure investment to meet higher demand and higher service levels
  • $10 million for energy projects to increase system resilience, boost renewable energy generation and reduce long-term energy costs
  • $100,000 per year for increased community support, including more public drinking fountains
  • An app to provide greater flexibility in managing bill payments and the ability to monitor water usage
  • Faster response to sewer blockages
  • Annual education and awareness campaigns that focus on water conservation, sustainability, wellbeing and customer support
  • More customer care resources, employing and upskilling more staff to reach out early and provide tailored support for those doing it tough
  • Increased investment in Aboriginal employment and cultural recognition initiatives
  • SMS notifications for unplanned service interruptions and a live outage tracker

Gippsland Water is funded by its customers and the water and sewage services it provides are not designed to make a profit.

Customer priorities services

Ms Cumming said the organisation had a responsibility to deliver its services in line with customer priorities and that the community could expect to have an ongoing influence on its services. "The level of engagement involved in the development of this submission, which the ESC has assessed as industry-leading, will now become a permanent and ongoing part of how we plan, deliver services and make decisions."

"To everyone who has contributed their time, expertise, opinions and views over the last two years, thank you - we've listened, we've delivered what you asked for and we're looking forward to continuing the conversation." Ms Cumming said.

Gippsland Water's price submission is part of a formal review process of pricing undertaken every five years by the Essential Services Commission (ESC). The ESC is expected to release its final decision before the end of the financial year. For more information and to view Gippsland Water's 2023-28 price submission, visit Price Submission 2023-28 page.

Pictures from Gippsland Water website.


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