About this project

Our pricing structure means that generally customers will pay fixed and variable components of a bill - this includes fixed service charges for water and sewer services, as well as a variable charge for water consumption, based on a per-kilolitre cost. The fixed charges cover the cost of building, operating and maintaining our extensive infrastructure network.

Customers told us during engagement for our Price Submission that having more control over their bill was the highest area of concern. One of the ways we can do this is by changing our tariffs. Online surveys indicated a strong interest in revision of our tariff structure to reduce the fixed charges in favour of higher volumetric charges. This was also supported by customers at water cafes. Some of our customers feel they would benefit
financially from lower fixed water costs. However, lowering the fixed costs means increasing the water usage costs. The effect that this could have on customers differs depending on the household, therefore, there is a lot of consideration to be made before GVW decides to implement any changes to our tariffs.

Actions to date

We randomly invited 400 customers in Cobram and Kilmore to participate in the trial, which will see participants’ water rates change for the duration of the trial to a fixed service charge of $85.44 and a variable usage charge of $1.47 per kilolitre.
In November 2021, we sent the third-year survey to participants. We saw similar results to previous years - no significant changes in water use, although customers did tell us they were more aware of their water use and tried to conserve whereever possible.

What's next?

The three-year trial has now been completed, and we’ve collated feedback from customers involved. Based on that information which shows no significant change from an alternate tariff, we’ll make a recommendation that the trial should be closed out, with the existing tariff structure to remain in place. The decision will be put to our Executive Management Team before June 30.

Our accountability for this project

Following the conclusion of the three-year trial and summary of customer experiences, a decision will be made by 30 June, 2022 as to whether to extend or vary the trial or to adopt a new tariff structure. In the event of not achieving the deadline we will make a Guaranteed Service Level payment of $5 to each of our residential customers.

For this information in PDF form, click here to download the factsheet (PDF: 176KB)