New water prices approved

June 30, 2023 BY

On tap: The Essential Services Commission has approved Coliban Water’s new pricing plan. Photo: FILE

THE Essential Services Commission has made its final decision on Coliban Water’s five-year pricing plan, with typical water bills expected to increase by one hundred and nine dollars per year.

This means that from 1 July average bills are expected to increase by eight per cent and from 2024 until 2028 they will go up a further 2.5 per cent per year before inflation.

Director of pricing with Essential Services Commission, Marcus Crudden, said he’s confident Coliban Water has initiatives in place to help vulnerable customers.

“We encourage customers to contact Coliban Water if they are experiencing difficulty paying bills, to discuss what assistance or arrangements can be made,” he said.

The plan was approved following consideration of the Coliban Water price submission, and community and customer responses to the draft plan.

A spart of the water utility’s pricing submission Coliban Water aims to use the extra money to increase capital works like water treatment plants and to meet environmental obligations which in part has contributed to the price increase.

“Coliban Water will also invest $506 million to renew and upgrade its infrastructure to meet compliance obligations, support reliable services for its customers, help to address future growth, and adapt to climate change,” Mr Crudden said.

Coliban Water managing director Damian Wells said he’s taken on board the feedback received from the community.

“In an environment of high interest rates, high inflation and a high cost of living, we want to ensure that any customer experiencing vulnerability will be supported,” he said.

“Our Coliban Assist program is the cornerstone of our customer support function, and during the new Price Submission period 2023-2028, we will double our financial support for this program to $570,000 per year.

“As we embark on this new five-year period, our new prices will ensure the ongoing delivery of our core business.

“This is to provide safe drinking water, recycled water, rural water and sewage services for public health and the environment, so that our communities can sustain themselves.”