26 September 2023

Regulator to increase water prices

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Canberrans are to pay more for water and sewerage services from next year with the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) releasing its draft prices for 2023-28.

ICRC Senior Commissioner Joe Dimasi said the Draft Report: Regulated water and sewerage services 2023-28 proposed the amount of revenue Icon Water could earn and what prices it can charge over the period 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2028.

“The draft decision estimates that the combined water and sewerage services bill for an average household consuming 200 kilolitres a year will increase by 4.2 per cent on average over the regulatory period,” Mr Dimasi said.

“In real terms (excluding inflation) the combined bill is expected to increase at an annual average of 1.2 per cent,” he said.

“Under our draft decision, an average residential customer is expected to pay $1,227 for its annual combined bill in 2023-24, an increase of $50 (or 4.2 per cent) compared to 2022-23.”

Mr Dimasi said that despite the proposed increase, the combined water and sewerage services bills paid by residential consumers in the ACT would remain lower than the average of comparable jurisdictions.

He said the proposed increases in service prices reflected the effect of large planned investment in sewerage treatment, increases in costs, cost of debt and forecast inflation in the 2023-28 regulatory period.

“These factors have been partially offset by the growth in Canberra’s population and the ability to spread these increased costs across a broader customer base,” the Senior Commissioner said.

Mr Dimasi invited Canberrans to provide feedback on the draft decision by 14 December.

The ICRC’s 197-page Draft Report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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