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Water and Sewerage Charges

Tasmanians have traditionally paid different prices for water and sewerage services determined by the municipality they live in and factors such as the value of their property. These discrepancies will mostly be removed by 2017-18, when the majority of customers will be paying the same price for the same service.

Water and sewerage fees and charges are set by the Tasmanian Economic Regulator in accordance with the Water and Sewerage Industry Act 2008.

The Economic Regulator conducted its most recent price determination investigation during 2014-15 and has determined water and sewerage charges for the three year period commencing 1 July 2015.

An important feature of water and sewerage charges from 1 July 2015 is that the same charges apply to all customers no matter where they live across the State.

A summary of the water and sewerage charges that TasWater levies is provided below and an explanation brochure can be found here.

Water charges

TasWater levies four types of water charges: fixed water charge, variable water charge, fire service charge and water service charge.

Fixed water charges
Fixed water charges reflect the costs of providing water services to a property, including the cost of maintaining and upgrading assets, which are independent of the amount of water supplied.
Fixed water charges for full service customers are based on the size of a property’s metered water connection. This means that fixed water charges increase as the size of the connection goes up.

Limited supply fixed water charges
A percentage of customers receive a service that TasWater considers limited due to pressure and/or flow related issues.
TasWater applies a 10 per cent discount to the fixed water target charge for these customers to reflect the deficiency in the local water reticulation infrastructure, which the customer should not be expected to pay for.

Fire service charges
Many customers across the state, particularly commercial and industrial customers, have a water service provided to their property to support a sprinkler system or private fire hydrant in the event of fire. This may be combined with the standard potable service or in addition to it.
Fire service charges are levied to reflect that the need for the service requires TasWater to build capacity into its network to meet peak supply requirements. Except for dedicated fire services, these should not be directly metered connections and are not often called upon.
Where a separate dedicated fire service is installed, only automatic fire sprinkler systems and fixed fire hydrants shall be connected to the dedicated fire service. Fire hose reels are to be connected to the potable (domestic/general) service.
Fire service charges are equivalent to 25 per cent of the relevant target fixed water charge to take account of the fact that the service is called into use infrequently.

Target water charges for the three years commencing 1 July 2015 are as follows:

Water
Connection Size

Fixed Water
Target Charge

Limited Supply Fixed Water Target Charge

Fire Service
Target Charge

20mm

329.48

296.52

82.36

25mm

$513.99

$462.57

$128.48

30mm

$741.33

$667.17

$185.31

32mm

$843.47

$759.09

$210.84

40mm

$1,317.92

$1,186.08

$329.44

50mm

$2,059.25

$1,853.25

$514.75

65mm

$3,479.31

$3,131.25

$869.72

75mm

$4,632.49

$4,169.07

$1,157.98

80mm

$5,271.68

$4,744.32

$1,317.76

100mm

$8,237.00

$7,413.00

$2,059.00

150mm

$18,533.25

$16,679.25

$4,632.75

200mm

$32,948.00

$29,652.00

$8,236.00

250mm

$51,481.25

$46,331.25

$12,868.75

 Note: there is no escalation in any of these water target charges over the three years commencing 1 July 2015.

Variable water charges
Variable charges reflect water supply costs which change over time, including electricity and pumping costs and the cost of chemicals used to treat water.

Variable charges apply to each kilolitre of water consumed, which is determined by metered usage. This means that you pay more if you use more water and vice-versa in the event you use less.

Customers across the state who receive water from a supply which has a permanent Boil Water Alert or Do Not Consume Notice in place or has been declared by TasWater to be limited water quality are classed as limited water quality and will receive a lower variable rate. A 20 per cent reduction is applied to the full variable rate to reflect that limited quality water goes through a reduced treatment process (meaning there are nil or minimal treatment/chemical costs in the supply process).

Variable charges for full service and limited quality customers are as follows:

 

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Full service (water of drinking water quality)

$0.9711

$0.9954

$1.0202

Limited water quality

$0.7769

$0.7963

$0.8162

Note the target charges are subject to annual increases of 2.5%.

 

Limited water quality customers are still required to pay the full fixed water charge unless they also receive a limited supply. Where a customer has both limited water supply and limited water quality, they are entitled to both the discounted fixed water charge for limited water supply and the discounted variable water charge for limited quality.

 

Sewerage charges
Sewerage charges help pay to maintain and operate the sewerage pipes, pump stations and treatment plants which take away and treat sewage from a customer’s property. The charge also contributes towards improving the infrastructure, which is ageing and significantly non-compliant, so TasWater can provide a more efficient, reliable and environmentally sound service. There is no usage pricing component to sewerage charges as there is with water.

Fixed sewerage charges for the three years commencing 1 July 2015 are as follows:

No of ETs

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

One ET

$562.68

$596.44

$632.24

2 ETs

$1,125.36

$1,192.88

$1,264.48

5 ETs

$2,813.40

$2,982.20

$3,161.20

10 ETs

$5,626.80

$5,964.40

$6,322.40

25 ETs

$14,067.00

$14,911.00

$15,806.00

 Note fixed sewerage target charges are subject to annual increases of 6%.

Fixed sewerage charges are calculated using an Equivalent Tenement (ET) methodology. TasWater’s ET methodology is based on the WSAA Sewerage Code and the NSW Water Directorate Section 64 Determinations of Equivalent Tenements.

A more detailed explanation of the ET methodology, including a full list of ET rates, can be found here.

If you believe you ET calculation is incorrect and you wish to have your ET reassessed please complete the following application form here.

Water and sewerage Service Charges for unconnected properties

Section 68A of the Water and Sewerage Industry Act 2008 provides TasWater with the ability to levy charges on a property which that is within the Serviced Land area, and where there are services available through a water main or sewerage main passing the property, but the property is not connected to water and/or sewerage infrastructure.  This applies to land that is vacant and built on land that is not connected.

The Economic Regulator has approved TasWater levying the following service charges:

 

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Water service charge

$329.48

$329.48

$329.48

Sewerage service charge

$337.60

$357.88

$379.32

 Note: water service charges are equivalent to the fixed water target charge, while the sewerage service charge is equivalent to 60% of the fixed sewerage target charge for 1ET.

 

Pricing transition arrangements

As a result of historical pricing arrangements across the State, very few water and sewerage customers pay the same price.  Most customers have been either above or below target prices and moving towards them over time.

The Economic Regulator has determined that any customer paying above target fixed water and sewerage prices on 1 July 2015 will immediately decrease to target prices from that date.

Customers currently below the target price will continue to transition up with an increase on their bill each year until they reach the target price. The increase amount is capped at 10 per cent or $100 for combined water and sewerage, whichever is the greater[1].

All customers below the variable water usage target price will see equal annual increases over the three years so they reach the target price by 1 July 2017.

This process will result in the majority of customers paying the same price for the same service by 1 July 2017.

Trade waste customers and those customers with a fire service will transition to target by going up or down in equal installments over the three years so they reach target price by 1 July 2017.

[1] Non-residential customers increase in proportion to connection size and ET count
 

Scenario

Basis of change

Target Tariff/s Applied

Transition to Target Tariff/s under-price constraints

Description/ Examples

Effective date

Change in the property’s predominant use

Property Change

ü

A genuine and permanent reduction1 or increase in water and/or sewerage demand

E.g. Change in Land Use Code(LUC)

Beginning of the next billing period after the predominant use changed

1 Prior to the downsizing going ahead, the customer must show evidence from a building surveyor/engineer and the Tas Fire Service that the premises can meet the necessary standards with a smaller connection.

Altered connection arrangements due to successful development application

Connection change

ü

Successful DA.

E.g. New connection or including new sub meter applications

Beginning of the next billing period after approval date

Previously unconnected properties connect to water and/or sewerage infrastructure (including new sub-divisions)

Connection change

ü

Newly developed land e.g. Subdivision

First billing period after practical completion

Where a customer’s property is already connected to water and/or sewerage infrastructure, but is currently not receiving charges (previously un-billed customer)

Customer change

ü

Currently unbilled customer that has not been billed for one or more services

Beginning of the next billing period after TasWater identify the connection

Newly discovered connection(s) to existing infrastructure

Connection change

ü

 

An existing customer that has been receiving one or more services and have been uncharged for all or part of the service2

Beginning of the next billing period after the new connection was discovered

2 Where the customer has an existing connection(s), these will be maintained at their current charges. A new customer connection to an existing property will receive the target tariffs for the new connection, and existing charges for the existing connections. Normal transitioning processes will apply to the existing connections.

Changes to existing connection points, ie change of connection size, including installation of sub-meters

Connection change

ü

Any change to a connection point outside a Development Application. Eg. Meter exchange or existing master meters changing to a sub meter set up3

Beginning of the next billing period after the connection has changed

3 If there is a significant change in use of the property resulting in:

  • a genuine and permanent reduction in water demand resulting in a change in the number and/or size of water connections; and/or
  • a genuine and permanent change in the number and/or size and/or load of sewerage connections,

Existing water service customer should also be receiving a fire service charge

Connection change

ü

Property currently billed and a new fire service discovered4

Beginning of the next billing period after the fire service was discovered

4 Dedicated fire services are only those installations which service properties which have private fire hydrants (also known as fire plugs) and/or fire sprinklers

New trade waste customer (applying for a consent)

Customer change

ü

New trade waste customers applying for consent through a statutory application process or via a customer generated application form.

Beginning of the next billing period

Existing sewerage service customer who should be receiving a trade waste charge (previously unbilled trade waste)

Customer change

ü

Currently unbilled customer that has not been billed for one or more services

Beginning of the next billing period after TasWater identify the connection

Adhesions (unless part of a development application)

Property change

ü

Where two or more properties are combined to create one new title

Billing date is from the date of adhesion5

5 Should the adhesion result in a change of use where there is a:

  • Genuine and permanent reduction in water demand resulting in a change in the number and/or size of water connections; and/or
  • Genuine and permanent reduction in the number and/or size and/or load of sewerage connections,

Amalgamation

Property change

ü

Amalgamation is not permanent change.  (It’s only completed for Council rating purposes)

No change to billing 6

6 As a property amalgamation is not permanent (and is only completed for Council rating purposes), the individual lots in the amalgamation can still be sold at any point without notification to the Corporation.  Amalgamation of titles onto one installation is not to occur.

Demolition resulting in land becoming vacant

Property change

ü

Building destroyed by fire 7 or inhabitable building being demolished

Beginning of the next billing period after disconnection date. 

7 Existing arrangement are to be maintained unless the customer contacts TasWater to arrange disconnection.  Properties that have been destroyed by fire can be backdated to the date of incident, if evidence from Tasmanian Fire Department is provided.

Change of ownership

Customer change

ü

Property currently billed under interim pricing and property changes ownership in entirety (no previous party remains)

Settlement date post 1 July 20158

8 Properties which are currently being billed on interim pricing will remain on interim pricing where:

  • One previous party remains on the Title (in the case of divorce, or death of one party)
  • Where a property Title changes from one spouse to another. Eg: where the property is in one name only - this party passing away - Title is transferred to a spouse (not previously on the Title)

Change from a permanent boil alert to a potable water supply (applies to variable charge only)

Service supplied change

ü

Permanent boil water alert to potable water

Clearance date as advised from DHHS

Amalgamation
Property change
   ü
Amalgamation is not permanent change.  (It’s only completed for Council rating purposes)
Amalgamation is not permanent change.  (It’s only completed for Council rating purposes)
 6 As a property amalgamation is not permanent (and is only completed for Council rating purposes), the individual lots in the amalgamation can still be sold at any point without notification to the Corporation.  Amalgamation of titles onto one installation is not to occur. 
Demolition resulting in land becoming vacant
Property change
   ü
Building destroyed by fire 7 or inhabitable building being demolished 
Beginning of the next billing period after disconnection date.  

7 Existing arrangement are to be maintained unless the customer contacts TasWater to arrange disconnection.  Properties that have been destroyed by fire can be backdated to the date of incident, if evidence from Tasmanian Fire Department is provided. 
 
Change of ownership
 
Customer change 
 
 ü
  Property currently billed under interim pricing and property changes ownership in entirety (no previous party remains)
 
Settlement date post 1 July 20158
 

8 Properties which are currently being billed on interim pricing will remain on interim pricing where:

  • One previous party remains on the Title (in the case of divorce, or death of one party)
  • Where a property Title changes from one spouse to another. Eg: where the property is in one name only - this party passing away - Title is transferred to a spouse (not previously on the Title)
 
Change from a permanent boil alert to a potable water supply (applies to variable charge only)
 
Service supplied change
 
ü
 
  Permanent boil water alert to potable water
 
Clearance date as advised from DHHS