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Water and Sewerage charges

Maximum prices for water and sewerage services in Tasmania are set by the Tasmanian Economic Regulator (TER). The TER has determined maximum annual increases of 4.6 per cent over the next three years from 1 July 2018.

However, we know affordability is a major concern for our customers and have opted to apply a lower increase of 4.1 per cent in 2018-19 instead. If our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the State Government, Councils and TasWater is implemented, we will also freeze prices in 2019-20 and cap price increases at 3.5 per cent in 2020-21.

A summary of the water and sewerage charges that TasWater levies is provided below 

Water charges

TasWater levies four types of water charges: fixed water charge, variable water charge, fire service charge and unconnected 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 water supply 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 fixed 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 2018/19 are as follows:

Water
Connection Size

Fixed Water
Target Charge

Limited Supply Fixed Water Target Charge

Fire Service
Target Charge

20mm

$342.96

$308.64

$85.72

25mm

$535.00

$481.48

$133.72

30mm

$771.64

$694.44

$192.88

32mm

$877.96

$790.16

$219.48

40mm

$1,371.84

$1,234.64

$342.96

50mm

$2,143.48

$1,929.12

$535.84

65mm

$3,621.64

$3,259.44

$905.40

75mm

$4,822.00

$4,339.80

$1,205.48

80mm

$5,487.36

$4,938.60

$1,371.84

100mm

$8,574.00

$7,716.60

$2,143.48

150mm

$19,291.48

$17,362.32

$4,822.84

200mm

$34,296.00

$30,866.40

$8,574.00

250mm

$53,587.48

$48,228.73

$13,396.87

 

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:

 

2018-19

Full service (water of drinking water quality)

$1.0620 (per kilolitre)

Limited water quality

$0.8496 (per kilolitre)

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 are as follows:

No of ETs

2018-19

One ET

$658.16

2 ETs

$1,316.32

5 ETs

$3,290.80

10 ETs

$6,581.60

25 ETs

$16,454.00

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.

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:

 

2018-19

Unconnected water service charge

$342.96

Unconnected sewerage service charge

$394.88

 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

Some customers pay less than the statewide price due to historical variation in pricing across Tasmania. As required by legislation, we are working to make pricing fairer by moving all customers to the same price for the same service.

In FY2018-19, customers within $50* of the target price for water and/or sewerage will move straight to the target. Otherwise, prices for transitioning customers will increase by one third of the gap between their most recent bill and the FY2020-21 target.

*This will change should the MOU be approved 

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