How we're tracking

Overall the 2020-21 year, self-assessed as ‘on track’, was a positive one given the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing impacts on both our business and customers. This year shows three of our five customer outcomes awarded an amber status (on track), two greater than 2019-20, with the remaining two green on the back of meeting all targets.

Getting the basics right and continuing to improve our notifications to customers around service interruptions were a strong focus and underpin continued strong performance in these outcomes. We recorded our first drinking water non-compliance this year on the back of an event in Koo Wee Rup where, although unlikely there was an impact on public health, we decided to issue a boil water advisory as a precaution to ensure the safety of our customers in the area. On the back of continued improvement around our notification of supply interruptions to customers we are looking to raise the bar again this year and will include all affected customers in the calculation, not just those who have provided us contact details. These advanced notifications remain a top priority for customers and this will ensure we continue to look for new and improved ways to communicate with the community which will in turn help increase satisfaction and trust.

Our complaints per 100 customers metric has fallen outside the tolerance band for the first time and has therefore been rated as not met. This is an expected result based on the recent introduction of our complaints framework that has redefined how we capture, treat and report customer enquiries and feedback. This is in line with recent industry movements towards increased capture of complaints presenting greater opportunities for businesses to improve their services and has been championed by Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA). Despite this our customer satisfaction rating continues to increase and remains above target, noting that we increased the score deemed positive back in 2019-20 from six out of ten to seven, but held our targets firm.

Total CO2 emissions received its’ first not met rating this year although we believe that the reason will also be the solution and that we remain on track to meet our greenhouse gas emission targets moving forward. Delays associated with a variety of solar projects were a large contributor but these are now operational and will help to meet our future targets. We have also entered a large-scale generation certificates (LGC) contract to procure renewable energy in the grid from a local windfarm.

Construction of all strategic recycled water connections was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic last year which also lead to us not meeting our planned percentage of recycled water usage in designated areas. A cooler, wetter climate coupled with an increase in residential demand as a result of working and schooling from home was also a significant factor here as recycled water is predominately used outdoors and in the garden but not in cooking, drinking or bathing areas. We remain confident that this metric will meet target moving forward with fewer, shorter restrictions and a return of many workers to their primary workplace progressively over the year.

Get the basics right, always

You told us you want safe and reliable services, now and always. At its essence, this means clean and high quality drinking water, and the safe disposal of wastewater.

Green tick icon
Our performance for outcome one

Overall we consider our performance for outcome 1 to be green as two of the four target measures have been met with the remaining two missed but within the tolerance level.  

Meeting safe drinking water standards

Number of incidents

 

Target

Result

2018-2019

0 Green tick icon

2019-2020

0 Green tick icon

2020-2021

0 Amber line icon

2021-2022

0  

There was one detection of trace amounts of E.coli in Koo Wee Rup with high chlorine residuals also detected and provided a high level of disinfection. While the high disinfection levels meant that it was unlikely there was an impact on public health, we issued a boil water advisory as a precaution to allow further investigation. The safety of our customers was our top priority and we worked hard through a letterbox drop, door knocking and phone calls to critical customers to make sure as many customers as possible had the information and support they needed.

We posted regular notifications on our website and social media and also sent emails and SMS messages for those customers whose details we have in our system. Emergency water supplies were deployed to the local hospital and vulnerable customers, with bottled water distributed to local schools, kindergartens and childcare centres. Investigations point towards issues with the tank being the most likely cause of the water quality issue. New technology is under review to provide early indicators of storage tank integrity issues. Additional chlorine monitoring is also underway to better observe disinfection levels.

Water quality complaints

Complaints per 100 customers

 

Target

Result

2018-2019

0.18

0.10 Green tick icon

2019-2020

0.18

0.10 Green tick icon

2020-2021

0.18

0.13 Green tick icon

2021-2022

0.18

 

As part of the chlorination strategy, a new chlorinator has recently been deployed in the Selby area, which is due for commissioning in the coming weeks. Two other areas of the network with low chlorine residual have also been identified and site suitability is currently being assessed before installation of additional chlorination units. Once these units have been commissioned, the chlorine in the network downstream will be monitored, allowing adjustments to optimise the disinfection barrier without impacting on the taste and odour of our customers water supply.

 

 

 

 

Multiple unplanned water interruptions

Number of customers with >5 incidents

 

Target

Result

2018-2019

532

226 Green tick icon

2019-2020

532

244 Green tick icon

2020-2021

532

315 Green tick icon

2021-2022

532

 

We have had a slight increase in numbers due to some repeated failures shortly after repairs had been performed. This is generally indicative of poor structural condition of pipes, and these have been targeted for replacement on our ongoing renewal program.

Multiple sewer blockages

Number of customers with 3 or more blockages

 

Target

Result

2018-2019

17

31 Amber line icon

2019-2020

17

19 Amber line icon

2020-2021

17

22 Amber line icon

2021-2022

17

 

We have experienced a seasonal increase in blockage numbers which is normal, however we continue to target properties with repeated blockages for replacement or renewal on a prioritised basis.

 

Warn me, inform me

You told us you want to be warned, and kept updated, about disruptions – both planned and emergency.

Green tick icon
Our performance for outcome two

Overall we consider our performance for outcome 2 to be green as all four of the target measures have been met and continue to improve year on year.

Customers notified about unplanned water supply interruptions

Percentage of affected customers

 

Target

Result

2018-2019

68%

79% Green tick icon

2019-2020

72%

89.9% Green tick icon

2020-2021

76%

94.2% Green tick icon

2021-2022

78%

 

Using a diverse range of communication channels has helped us to increase the number of ways we can keep our customers informed when their service is interrupted. Our website and social media channels are regularly used in addition to direct communication to our customers through email and SMS.

During incidents including Silvan, Koo Wee Rup and Albert Park, where there was a direct impact on customers, we supported these channels through letterbox drops and door knocking to ensure the safety of our customers. We continue to strengthen our community relationships across our service area with stakeholders, local MP’s, councils and community groups to build trust and improve communication should an issue occur.

Duration of unplanned water supply interruptions

Average duration (minutes)

 

Target

Result

2018-2019

88%

82% Green tick icon

2019-2020

88%

81.6% Green tick icon

2020-2021

88%

81.1% Green tick icon

2021-2022

88%

 

The length of time taken to repair failed water mains remains consistent with last quarters repair times. Our maintenance contractors are doing a good job performing repairs in a timely manner.

 

 

 

 

Interruptions during busy household times

 

Percentage of incidents

 

Target

Result

2018-2019

27.9

29.9 Green tick icon

2019-2020

27.8

26.4 Green tick icon

2020-2021

27.7

25.9 Green tick icon

2021-2022

27.6

 

The volume of repairs requiring shutdowns of the water supply system have been down in number this quarter with a corresponding decrease in the volume that occur within peak periods. 

Percentage of planned interruptions restored within notification period

Percentage of planned interruptions

 

Target

Result

2018-2019

98

99  Green tick icon

2019-2020

98

98.8 Green tick icon

2020-2021

98

98.8 Green tick icon

2021-2022

98

 

We are continuing to closely monitor works associated with major projects where they are impacting our water network and ensure the work they are performing is manageable in the proposed shutdown period. 

Fair and affordable for all

You told us you expect our services to be delivered in a fair and affordable manner across our entire service region.

Green tick icon
Our performance for outcome three

Overall we consider our performance for outcome 3 to be green as two out of the three targets have exceeded the target with the third just outside and within the tolerance band.

The cost for us to operate per property

($) per property

 

Target

Result

2018-2019

158

161 Amber line icon

2019-2020

155

160 Red cross icon

2020-2021

152

N/A

2021-2020

150

N/A

The cost for us to operate per property

($) per property

 

Target

Result

2018-2019

158

156

2019-2020

155

153

2020-2021

152

147 Green tick icon

2021-2020

150

 

With a change to accounting policy that now includes costs previously capitalised in this metric, we have introduced a revised measure for the 2020-21 year to show our true performance against the targets set under the previous policy. The results previously reported for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 years have been restated to exclude these costs and more accurately reflect our performance with the targets set in the 2018 submission and does not impact customer prices during this pricing period.

The 2020-21 result is preliminary and pending final audit sign off and submission of regulatory accounts in October 2021.

Customers supported by South East Water Assist

Number of customers

 

Target

Result

2018-2019

5,310

5,485 Green tick icon

2019-2020

5,575

6,599 Green tick icon

2020-2021

5,854

5,839 Amber line icon

2021-2020

6,147

 

The year has seen a huge impact on the economy through phased restrictions within Victoria throughout the year. This impact is noticed across all customer segments and propensity to pay has gradually dropped. Throughout the year we have initiated proactive communications, campaigns and increased support services across all channels to help our customers in need. The volumes clearly show that the first half of the year had a huge increase in the number of customers seeking all types of payment support due to job losses, business impacts and high water bills due to increased household occupancy.

The second half of the year reflects how the economy started to bounce back with job opportunities, rebates, waivers, grants and government support. Customer’s affordability and propensity to pay has slowly improved and the need to be in the program or seeking ongoing support has reduced. Our Assist team is constantly fine-tuning our design principles and customer entry criteria to ensure we are inclusive in our approach and support offerings.

Customers' level of debt when entering Assist program

Number of customers

 

Target

Result

2018-2019

875

839 Green tick icon

2019-2020

825

674 Green tick icon

2020-2021

800

616 Green tick icon

2021-2020

800

 

Customer debt upon entry has been lower than expected, demonstrating that our eligibility criteria for the Assist program and our proactive outreach has successfully helped us identify customers who need support to help manage their bills.

 

 

 

 

 

Make my experience better

You told us you want a better experience with us, every time you talk to us, see us out and about or visit us online.

Amber line icon
Our performance for outcome four

Overall we consider this to be met as we achieved two out of the three targets and the one not achieved is within the tolerance band. 

 

Customer satisfaction rating (7 or above)

Percentage of survey responses

 

Target

Result

2018-2019

81

89 Green tick icon

2019-2020

83

83 Green tick icon

2020-2021

83

84 Green tick icon

2021-2020

85

 

Our overall Customer Satisfaction target was achieved predominately by strong results with our customers who’ve engaged with our Customer Contact Centre with a satisfaction score of 91 per cent.

Satisfaction with our mySouthEastWater customer portal scored slightly lower this year due to a drop when we made changes to upgrade our website. Satisfaction has now improved since the website upgrade.

Value for money rating (7 or above)

Percentage of survey responses

 

Target

Result

2018-2019

68

74 Green tick icon

2019-2020

69

74 Green tick icon

2020-2021

70

73 Green tick icon

2021-2020

71

 

Our customers continued to tell us that there’s strong Value-for-Money in our Customer Contact Centre teams and the service they provide with a score of 78 per cent.

Customers have indicated that they would like more Value-for-Money from our mySouthEastWater portal and how we manage Unplanned Water Supply Interruptions. As a result we’re developing plans for improvements by notifying more customers before we turn the water off.

Customer complaints

Per 100 customers

 

Target

Result

2018-2019

0.41

0.32 Green tick icon

2019-2020

0.40

0.42 Amber line icon

2020-2021

0.39

0.58 Red cross icon

2021-2020

0.38

 

This year we rolled our broader complaint definition and new reporting practices out to our Customer Contact Centre business and customer care groups. This initially resulted in more complaints being reported. We developed a database of information to help solve customer problems more easily and identify any process improvements.  

Support my community, protect our environment

You told us you want us to support your community and protect our environment – delivering long-term water security in a way that honours the environment and ongoing liveability.

Amber line icon
Our performance for outcome five

Overall we consider our performance for outcome 5 to be amber as two of four measures have fallen outside the tolerance bands, one is within tolerance but below target and only one favourable against target. 

Total carbon emissions (tonnes of CO2)

Tonnes of CO2

 

Target

Result

2018-2019

37,385

38,264 Amber line icon

2019-2020

38,049

32,007 Green tick icon

2020-2021

28,969

35,856 Red cross icon

2021-2020

28.609

 

The emissions of 35,856 tCO2e is an early estimate of the 2020-21 net total emissions. Although we missed this year’s target, we’re on track to meet our greenhouse gas emission 2024-25 target. There were commissioning delays for the Kiamal Solar Farm and our behind-the-meter solar projects at Pakenham and Somers Water Recycling Plants contributing to the higher Scope 2 than predicted, but these are now operational and will help to meet our future targets.

We have also entered a large-scale generation certificates (LGC) contract to procure renewable energy in the grid from a local windfarm. 

Number of significant sewer spills (dry weather)

Number of spills

 

Target

Result

2018-2019

20

17 Green tick icon

2019-2020

20

14 Green tick icon

2020-2021

20

10 Green tick icon

2021-2020

20

 

In the last quarter we have had three additional sewer spills occur, but we finished the year well below target. We are continuing to roll out sensors and perform regular maintenance in our sewer network to avoid significant sewage spills.

One of our Advanced BlokAid® devices alerted us to a sewer blockage and subsequent spill into Albert Park Lake and at St Kilda West Beach. The spill and impact to customers could have been significantly larger if the sensor had not detected an issue.

 

Percentage of customers receiving recycled water

Percentage of customers connected in designated areas

 

Target

Result

2018-2019

46

44 Amber line icon

2019-2020

46

58 Green tick icon

2020-2021

65

59 Amber line icon

2021-2020

78

 

.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there have only been five months in the last year when we have been able to connect customers in urban areas to recycled water. Construction of all strategic recycled water connections continue as planned for 2021-22 and we believe the 77 per cent target is still on track, provided there are no excessive periods of lost time lost due to additional COVID-19 lockdowns.

 

Recycled water used in designated areas

Percentage of total water supplied in designated areas

 

Target

Result

2018-2019

12

12 Green tick icon

2019-2020

14

13 Amber line icon

2020-2021

16

13 Red cross icon

2021-2020

18

 

Demand for recycled water reduced in 2020-21 due to the wetter than average weather experienced across our service area in summer and autumn as a result of La Nina conditions. The supply of recycled water was also impacted by having fewer customers connected in urban areas than planned (see comment on Percentage of customers receiving recycled water above). 

 

 

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