How we're tracking

2021-22 overall result

As another financial year comes to an end we are proud to once again achieve an overall GREEN rating across our customer outcomes. This rating consists of three outcomes achieving target and two falling outside but within the tolerance bands set at the start of the 2018-19 year. Whilst our aim is for all five outcomes to achieve a green rating there were significant impacts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that were not foreseeable and made the delivery of some programs and services difficult over the past two years, along with a far more variable climate delivering extreme weather events that put additional strain on our network.

Our operating cost per property metric is just outside target for the year in isolation however remains under from a cumulative perspective across the four years to-date of the current regulatory period. This year is also forecast to be slightly over target in isolation but we are forecasting to meet the five year commitment from a cumulative perspective at years end.

Our customer satisfaction at 82% is below target however remains a positive result overall with us also being announced by the ESC as the top Victorian Water Retailer in their customer perception surveys. Since the targets were set back in 2018 we have expanded our surveys across additional channels and have adjusted the rating of a ‘positive’ interaction up from scores of 6 to 7 and above out of 10.

We’ve continued our strong performance in supporting customers through difficult times with both associated support targets achieved. This included maintaining a strong focus on providing extra support to those who needed it most with the ongoing impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Our total complaints per 100 result was 0.57 and remained outside our target of 0.38. As mentioned previously, this isn’t unexpected nor taken in a negative sense because of the change to the definition and consistent capture across our organisation. The change allows for pain point identification and rectification, essentially driving an increased level of serve and satisfaction moving forward.

Despite the result for both number of properties connected to recycled water and the volume of water used falling outside target for the year we’ve made significant progress towards the end of the year as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) related restrictions being lifted. Both measures increased year-on-year more than originally targeted for the 2021-22 year however do remain slightly behind target. We believe both will continue to perform strongly and expect to meet the target this year providing no further coronavirus (COVID-19) impacts play out.

Customer Outcome End of financial year outcome  Met
Get the basics right, always
Three of the four target measures have been met for the first quarter.
Green tick icon
Warn me, inform me All four of the target measures have been met for the first quarter. Green tick icon
Fair and affordable for all Both target measures are met for the first quarter. Green tick icon
Make my experience better One measure on target, one outside but within acceptable tolerance and the third outside both target and tolerance. Amber line icon
Support my community, protect our environment Two of four measures outside both target and the associated tolerance bands, while one remains on track and the fourth only reportable at year end. Amber line icon

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 three measures have achieved target with the remaining one comfortably within the tolerance band. 

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 1  Amber line icon

 2021-2022

0 Green tick icon

 

South East Water have been fully compliant with the Safe Drinking Water Act. This can be attributed to both the comprehensive risk management plan and the additional sample tap maintenance program which has reduced the impact of false positive E.coli detects by ensuring representative sampling of the water being supplied to our customers.

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

0.12 Green tick icon

 

Water quality complaints are marginally down compared with the last financial year, despite chlorine residuals throughout the network being increased as part of the chlorination strategy. In fact, chlorine taste and odour complaints are down by 7%, demonstrating that the strategy has been well executed with minimal impact to our customers perception of water quality.

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

   0 Green tick icon

 

SEW experienced zero customers with more than 5 unplanned water supply interruptions in the 2022 financial year. This can be attributed to a lower number of water main leaks and bursts in the network compared to the 10-year average (~10% less). The increased network reliability has been as a result of cooler and wetter weather during the 2022 fiscal year and our ongoing targeted water main 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

21 Amber line icon

 

Despite a slight increase in overall blockage numbers, we have seen a decrease in the number of customers experiencing 3 or more sewer blockages. There has been a deliberate focus on identifying the causes of repeat issues and resolving them before the customer experiences a third interruption. 

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%*

79.0%* Green tick icon

 2019-2020

72%*

89.9%* Green tick icon

 2020-2021

76%*

94.2%* / 72.2%~ Green tick icon

 2021-2022

59%~

71.8%~ Green tick icon

 

The percentage of customers notified of unplanned interruptions is within target and remains steady with the previous month. We’re continuing to progress improvements within the notification process to enhance the timeliness and reliability of communication to impacted customers.

*Target until 2020-21, and results until 2019-20 are calculated as a % of notifiable customers (we have mobile/email details).

~We now calculate based on % of total customers affected.

Duration of unplanned water supply interruptions

Average duration (minutes)

 

Target

Result

 2018-2019

88

82.0 Green tick icon

 2019-2020

88

81.6 Green tick icon

 2020-2021

88

81.1 Green tick icon

 2021-2022

88

79.2 Green tick icon

 

The length of time taken to repair failed water mains remains within target for the year. Our maintenance contractors performed well repairing failures in a timely manner to minimise impact to customers. This was despite major challenges due COVID-19 disruptions and resulting resource constraints.

Interruptions during busy household times

Percentage of incidents

 

Target

Result

 2018-2019

27.9%

27.9% 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%

26.6% Green tick icon

 

The target for the percentage of water interruptions to customers in peak hours met target for the 2022 year. Field crews continue to delay repairs and network outages to outside peak hours where safe and viable to do so.

Percentage of planned interruptions restored within notification period

Percentage of planned interruptions

 

Target

Result

 2018-2019

98%

99.0% Green tick icon

 2019-2020

98%

98.8% Green tick icon

 2020-2021

98%

98.8% Green tick icon

 2021-2022

98%

98.7% Green tick icon

 

Robust processes to ensure that planned water interruptions are restored within the notification period have led to targets being met again during the 2022 year which is another positive result for customers impacted.

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 measures are within target and one just outside target but within tolerance band.

The cost for us to operate per property

($) per property - metric calculation no longer in use

 

Target

Result

 2018-2019

158

161 Amber line icon

 2019-2020

155

160 Red cross icon

 2020-2021

152

N/A

 2021-2022

150

N/A

 

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 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

 2021-2022

150

151 Amber line icon

The operating cost per property was marginally above target for 2021-22 although remains below for the total four years of the regulatory period to date. Whilst cost pressures continue to impact the business, savings achieved earlier in the regulatory period have enabled the business to absorb these pressures and forecast to be under the allowance over the five-year regulatory period. 

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

 2021-2022

6,147

7,102 Green tick icon

 

Customers supported by South East Water is above target as a result of our ongoing support program and focus on identifying and reaching out to customers who might be having trouble paying their water bill. Quarter 4 saw the launch of our proactive outreach to customers with bills issued for an amount 150% or higher than normal which further assisted in early identification and support to those in need.

Customers' level of debt when entering Assist program

Average level of debt on entry

 

Target

Result

 2018-2019

$875

$839 Green tick icon

 2019-2020

$825

$674 Green tick icon

 2020-2021

$800

$616 Green tick icon

 2021-2022

$800

$650 Green tick icon

 

The proactive outreach program (above) has helped to identify and engage with customers earlier in the billing journey and before they start to accumulate arrears. This means individual levels of debt are lower upon entry to the Assist program and customers are receiving support earlier in the cycle, hopefully limiting the financial pressure they are experiencing.

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 our performance for outcome 4 to be amber with one measure on target, one outside target but within the acceptable range, and the third outside target due to a change in our complaint management framework and reporting. 

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

 2021-2022

85%

82% Amber line icon

 

The Customer Contact team (Faults and Accounts) saw a two per cent drop in customer satisfaction as compared to the previous year. The reduction is primarily attributed to high rates of absenteeism due to COVID related resourcing issues impacting inbound calls and a significant increase in repeat calls due to a backlog of works with our service provider similarly impacted. Both contact centre teams continue to embed our new customer interaction framework with a focus on purposeful and value-add interactions, taking us away from the previous transaction-based approach.

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

 2021-2022

71%

72% Green tick icon

 

Our Value for Money result remains within target however is trending downwards over the past two years. As a result, we have reviewed the drivers of value through our perceptions and brand survey. This showed that those who have interacted with us versus those who have not, highlighting those customers feel greater value when they’ve interacted with us compared with the general customer population. 

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

 2021-2022

0.38

0.57 Red cross icon

 



Since the introduction of our revised complaint definition in 2020 we have maintained an increased volume of annual complaints due to a deliberate effort to capture them consistently across the business.

The volumes have stabilised over the last two financial years however remain higher than our original targets set prior to identifying the need for this organisation wide change.

We still have opportunities where we envisage further increases to the capture of complaints across various areas of the business and expect to see a gradual increase in the years to come.

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 with two of four measures within target, one outside target but within the acceptable range and the fourth outside the target for 2021-22. 

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

 2021-2022

28.609

27,556 Green tick icon

 

We are well on our way to sourcing 100% of our electricity from renewable sources and expect to reach this goal by 2024/25. The next action is to tackle our direct emissions from driving vehicles and treating wastewater at our treatment plants. We are investigating a number of ways to reduce our direct emissions including reducing emissions at the source with innovative technology design in future treatment plant upgrades and sourcing local biodiverse sequestration offsets. The emissions of 27,556 tCO2e is an early estimate of the 2021-22 net total emissions with final results available in October 2022.

Number of significant sewer spills (dry weather)

Number of EPA reportable spills

 

Target

Result

 2018-2019

20

17 Green tick icon

 2019-2020

20

14 Green tick icon

 2020-2021

20

10 Green tick icon

 2021-2022

20

11 Green tick icon

 

Another strong result has been achieved this year following the review of business processes and the accuracy of the underlying data despite a wetter climate and the associated pressure on the network.

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

 2021-2022 

78%

74% Amber line icon

 

With no COVID-19 restrictions being in place in the second half of this year, the program of on-site audits to connect customers to recycled water was able to be completed in Q4 for 2021-22 despite the initial delays. The on-site audits will recommence in 2022-23 once the remaining strategic links in the recycled water network have been constructed.  Assuming no major delays the in 2022-23 construction program, the 77% target should be met.

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

 2021-2022 

18%

16% Red cross icon

 

The volume of recycled water is a lagging indicator compared with KPI c) because meters are read every 3 months. Hence, whilst the program of onsite audits was completed in Q4 2021-22, the impact on the volume of recycled water will only be seen in Q1 2022-23.

Learn more

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