South East Water welcomes the Essential Services Commission’s (ESC) preliminary approval of its Price Submission 2023–28, with a strong commitment to supporting customers, community and environment, now and into the future.
The water utility undertook extensive engagement with over 8,500 customers and stakeholders to test what they valued and their willingness to pay for water and waste services over the next 5-year pricing period, commencing 1 July 2023.
The price submission sets out the prices and services that South East Water will offer customers and the community from 2023 to 2028. This includes allowing more customers to monitor their water use and identify potential water leaks in their homes, saving water and money. This is driven through South East Water’s continued scale-up of its digital meter and sensor program, already one of the largest in Australia.
South East Water’s Managing Director, Lara Olsen welcomed the regulator’s draft decision approving the price and services plan.
“The commitments we propose in our price submission represent increased investment to deliver what’s important to our customers.
“Although we’re continuing to drive innovation at scale through our investment in smart tools, our plan is still underpinned by good value and a commitment to keeping prices as affordable as possible.”
South East Water Managing Director, Lara Olsen
“The rising cost of living is making times tough for many customers. We’re reducing our fixed water and sewage charges by around 6% (before inflation) for 2023–2028 and we’ll support customers more than ever to make sure our services remain fair and affordable for all”, said Ms Olsen.
South East Water services 1.77 million people in one of the fastest growing regions in Australia. The submission sets plans for a growing population and a changing climate.
“It’s our largest investment in infrastructure to date. This allows us to increase our reliability, and reduce spills and the impact of disruptions. This helps us to do more to protect our environment and support our community,” said Ms Olsen.
While the submission shows South East Water’s commitment to affordable services and the future, there are also plans around how it will a provide a better customer experience.
“We’ll be better able to respond to our customers’ requests for an easier experience with us and provide them with more choice through enhancements we’ll make to our digital tools and use of data from our digital meters and sensors. This will allow customers to have the best possible interaction with us and be warned and informed at the right time.
“Removing the residential sewage disposal charge and reallocating to the water usage charge will make bills easier to understand and provide greater information on customers’ actual water use,” said Ms Olsen.
The ESC is South East Water’s independent regulator who requires all Victorian water corporations to submit a prices and services plan called a ‘price submission’ every 5 years.
Customers and the community can now have their say on the draft decision, ahead of the ESC’s final decision in June 2023.
Visit Engage Victoria’s website. Submissions are due 9 May 2023.
Top: Dan's Plants - recycled water recipient as part of South East Water's DIngley Recycled Water Scheme.
Bottom: Lord Somers camp - recipient of South East Water's Community Grants program.
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