TasWater has submitted its latest draft Price and Service Plan (PSP3) to the Tasmanian Economic Regulator for review

This is our three-year blueprint to deliver clean and safe drinking water and reduce our impact on the environment while keeping bills as affordable as possible.

It covers the period from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2021, and is an important part of TasWater’s Long Term Strategic Plan.

Key priorities:

After receiving extensive feedback from customers and environmental, health and dam safety regulators, TasWater will:

  • Continue to protect our customers’ health by ensuring drinking water is clean and safe
  • Further protect the safety and the water security of communities by investing in dam improvements
  • Keep reducing our impact on the environment by upgrading sewage treatment plants to meet the standards the EPA expects.

This will allow TasWater to both meet our long term goals and the expectations of our customers and our regulators.

The Economic Regulator will now review the draft PSP3 and release an initial report and price determination after which it will make PSP3 available for public comments and submissions.

Below is a simple outline of what the draft PSP3 contains: 

Chapter 1 - Introduction

TasWater was formed in 2013 and is only partway through the journey to maturity that many of our Australian counterparts began decades ago.

Nevertheless, in just four years we have made significant improvements to the services we offer.

With our third Prices and Service Plan (PSP3), we propose important advances that align our obligations and our customers’ expectations. It refines the methodology for addressing priority issues while keeping customer bills as affordable as possible and maintaining prudent levels of debt.

PSP3 is a significant milestone in achieving a mature, sustainable business that underpins the health of our community and strongly supports the economy of our state for the long-term.

Chapter 2 - Customer and stakeholder consultation

Our ongoing commitment to customer engagement gives us a strong understanding of our customers’ expectations, and is essential to help us prioritise our efforts and our investments.

Chapter 3 - Regulatory compliance

TasWater has spent a great deal of time working with our health, environmental and service regulators to develop a risk-based approach to prioritising TasWater’s compliance activities.

This evidence-based process ensures we tackle the areas of highest risk first and enables TasWater to achieve the greatest improvements in the shortest time.

In the long-term, it means spending our customers’ money prudently, addressing all of Tasmania’s water and sewerage challenges in a logical and efficient way.

Chapter 4 - Customer service standards, customer contract and policies

TasWater must know and understand our customers if we are to deliver the services they expect.

In our first four years we have built a solid foundation, achieving most of our targeted service standards so far. As our business matures, we aim to improve on this and achieve better results.

Chapter 5 - Demand Forecast

It is important to understand patterns of demand so we can plan for sustainable services.

This planning has to be based on good data.

As our statewide business matures, our data improves, affording us a clearer picture of demand across the state. Moving forward, this means we can better match our supply to customer demand and propose more accurate prices for customers

Chapter 6 - Capital expenditure

TasWater is already having a positive effect on the Tasmanian economy.

Our capital program is laying the foundation for continued good health and prosperity for this state.

Our capital expenditure program is a disciplined, engineering based approach that addresses the many challenges our community faces in a way that builds skills and capacity for the long term benefit of all Tasmanians.

Chapter 7 - Operating expenditure

TasWater has identified areas where we can achieve greater efficiency over time, building up to a sustainable $12million of savings per annum by 2021.

As a result, we have initiated a productivity improvement program to achieve these savings with a view to keeping our customer bills as affordable as possible in the long-term. 

Chapter 8 - Revenue requirement

We use the same methodology to calculate our prices as all other major water utilities in Australia. This open and transparent public process allows customers and all other stakeholders to see how prices are determined and the improvements that TasWater is committing to deliver as a result of its proposed prices.

Chapter 9 - Prices and customer impacts

We are confident PSP3 will enable us to meet community expectations on pricing and priorities.

TasWater’s customers rightly expect that our first priority is to protect their good health.

As an essential service provider, our customers expect us to deliver a reliable service, improve compliance and contribute to the ongoing economic success of our State.

They also expect affordable bills.

It is important that everyone who wants to contribute can, so later in the year, the Economic Regulator will set up an inclusive and open process for public comments and submissions.

Using this process enables the Economic Regulator to take everything into consideration as he prepares the final report due in April 2018.

In the coming weeks, The Tasmanian Economic Regulator will make the PSP3 submission available for the public to read on their Website.