FAQs for water and sewerage pricing

Who determines these new charges?

Icon Water’s charges for water and sewerage services are regulated by the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission (ICRC). Charges for 2016-17 have been set by the ICRC in accordance with the Industry Panel’s determination. The next determination is due in 2018.

How are water prices structured?

The tariffs charged by Icon Water for water and sewerage services include fixed supply charges and additional charges that vary depending on how much water you use. There are two ‘tiers’ in these additional consumption charges.

The current water tariff structure is made up as follows:

 Visual representation of Icon Waters pricing structure

Consumers that use less than 0.548kL (548 litres) per day on average will pay only the first tier price of $2.61/kL. Any average daily usage in excess of 0.548kL will be charged at the second tier price of $5.24/kL. For example, in 2016–17 a large customer using 100kL (100,000 litres) per quarter will pay $2.61/kL for the first 50kL of usage, with the remainder being billed at the higher rate of $5.24/kL.

How have prices changed?

Change in water prices 2015-16 to 2016-17

 

2015/16 $

2016/17 $

% Change

Fixed ($/annum)

101.14

101.48

0.3

Tier 1 (first 0.548 kL/day) ($/kL)

2.60

2.61

0.4

Tier 2 (excess of 0.548 kL/day) ($/kL)

5.22

5.24

0.4

 

Change in sewerage prices 2015-16 to 2016-17

 

2015/16 $

2016/17 $

% Change

Supply Charge ($/annum)

523.18

529.38

1.2

Fixture charge non-residential customers and units common properties ($/annum)

511.66

517.73

1.2


What is the total percentage change on my bill?

Residential

The increase in your annual combined bill in 2016-17 will vary depending upon the pattern of your water usage over the year. For a typical residential customer using 200kL per annum, the combined impact of changes to prices for water and sewerage services in 2016-17 would be an increase of around 0.7% in the annual bill (around $0.15 per week or $2 per quarter).

The following table provides some examples assuming a flat consumption profile (equal usage in each quarter) over the year.

Combined residential water and wastewater bill impacts

Current consumption kL

 

 

2015-16 combined bill $ (constant usage)

 

 

2016-17 combined bill $ (constant usage)

 

 

Percentage change in combined bill

 

 

Dollar change in combined bill

 

 

Change in combined bill after inflation

 

0

624.32

630.86

1.0%

6.54

-0.5%

50

754.32

761.36

0.9%

7.04

-0.6%

100

884.32

891.86

0.9%

7.54

-0.7%

150

1,014.32

1,022.36

0.8%

8.04

-0.7%

200

1,144.32

1,174.82

0.7%

8.63

-0.8%

250

1,405.32

1,414.86

0.7%

9.54

-0.8%

300

1,666.32

1,676.86

0.6%

10.54

-0.9%

350

1,927.32

1,938.86

0.6%

11.54

-0.9%

400

2,188.32

2,200.86

0.6%

12.54

-0.9%

500

2,710.32

2,724.86

0.5%

14.54

-1.0%

750

4,015.32

4,034.86

0.5%

19.54

-1.0%

 

Commercial

Sewerage charges have increased more than the water charges, proportional impacts on commercial customer bills will be higher for customers with lower water usage and many flushing fixtures.

Combined commercial water and wastewater bill impacts:

Usage profile: equal usage in each quarter

Current consumption kL

 

Number of fixtures

 

15/16 combined bill $

 

16/17 combined bill $

 

Percentage change in combined bill

 

Change in combined bill after inflation

 

1 000

10

10,436.92

10,522.16

0.8%

-0.7%

1 000

50

30,903.32

31,231.36

1.1%

-0.4%

1 000

100

56,486.32

57,117.86

1.1%

-0.4%

2 000

10

15,656.92

15,762.16

0.7%

-0.8%

2 000

50

36,123.32

36,471.36

1.0%

-0.5%

2 000

100

61,706.32

62,357.86

1.1%

-0.4%

5 000

10

31,316.92

31,482.16

0.5%

-1.0%

5 000

50

51,783.32

52,191.36

0.8%

-0.7%

5 000

100

77,366.32

78,077.86

0.9%

-0.6%

10 000

10

57,416.92

57,682.16

0.5%

-1.0%

10 000

50

77,883.32

78,391.36

0.7%

-0.9%

10 000

100

103,466.32

104,277.86

0.8%

-0.7%

 

How has this increase been calculated?

The Industry Panel’s Substituted Price Direction for Regulated Water and Sewerage Services 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2018 determined that prices for 2016-17 would be adjusted by CPI plus any adjustments for changes in costs due to specified types of unforeseen events. The reasons for this decision are set out in the Industry Panel’s final report of April 2015. The ICRC approved the final prices for 2016-17 based on a CPI increase of 1.5%. The reasons for the ICRC decision are set out in its report on the 2016-17 price adjustment.

What adjustments to charges can we expect over the next year?

The Industry Panel’s Substituted Price Direction for Regulated Water and Sewerage Services 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2018 determined that prices for water and sewerage would be adjusted in line with CPI in 2017-18, plus adjustments for any changes in costs due to specified types of unforeseen events. For example, these adjustments could include changes in the amounts paid by Icon Water to the ACT Government on account of the Water Abstraction Charge and the Utilities Network Facilities Tax.

What input does the customer have in determining Icon Water charges?

Talking Icon Water’ is an invitation to our community to engage and provide feedback to us about views and ideas with respect to the long term delivery of water and sewerage services for the ACT and surrounding regions.

Visit Talking Icon Water for more information about how Icon Water is engaging with the Canberra community and enabling them to provide important feedback and views with respect to the delivery of water and sewerage services for the ACT and surrounding region. A number of engagement opportunities currently exist to allow the community to have their say. This program builds on Icon Water’s customer-centric journey to strengthen relationships with our community and our customers; and work towards becoming Australia’s most trusted, premier water and wastewater utility.

Will my pension/health care rebate increase accordingly?

The pension/health care rebate scheme is an ACT Government initiative. The rebate scheme is administered on behalf of the ACT Government who decides whether to vary the rebate. The rebate percentage under the pension/health care rebate scheme will remain the same with the maximum rebate being 68% of the water and sewerage supply charges. There are no changes in life support rebates.

Rebates will appear on your water and sewerage invoice as a separate line item under the heading of ‘other amounts’.

Will the price of miscellaneous services increase?

Under the Industry Panel’s Substituted Price Direction for Regulated Water and Sewerage Services 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2018, miscellaneous fees and charges have increased in line with CPI (1.5%) rounded to the nearest dollar.

What do my water and sewerage rates pay for?

One of our biggest responsibilities is to maintain our water and sewer network – it’s not just about the water that runs through the pipes – we have to be continually upgrading the network to meet the needs of the growing city and its people – and continually renewing the ageing pipes/infrastructure.

Growth

Land Development Agency is planning to release around 18,000 residential units across the ACT over the next four years. This would be an increase of over 10% in dwelling numbers that will require water and sewerage services.

Renewal

We have over 3,200 kilometres of water pipes and over 3,200 kilometres of sewerage pipes that weave their way around the city. Many of our pipes are coming up for renewal – the last major growth in infrastructure was in the 1960s and 1970s – making the majority of our pipes roughly 40-50 years old.

Improvements

We need to make sure that we’re working and serving Canberra to the best of our knowledge and ability. This means constantly making improvements to our processes and infrastructure, as well ask consulting the community to better understand your views about the way we deliver services. This can include improvements to safety, and customer service, and reducing our impact on the environment to ensure we’re as sustainable as possible.

Our people

Operating the water supply network is a 24 hour, seven day a week responsibility. In addition to the field crews working across Canberra to maintain the water and sewage pipes across the city, there are engineers and scientists operating the treatment plants and managing the flow of water around the city. We monitor the weather forecasts, planning Canberra’s response to long-term rainfall patterns as well as more immediate weather events such as floods and storms. As Canberrans and locals to surrounding areas ourselves, we feel privileged to be able to look after the area and our people.

Where can I view all charges and when?

You can find all charges on our website at iconwater.com.au/prices from 25 June 2016 and were published in the Canberra Times on 25 June 2016.

The schedule of charges can also be downloaded from iconwater.com.au/prices and was submitted to the ACT Legislation Register on 16 June 2016.