Water customers to pay less

The average Gippsland Water customer will pay slightly less for annual water consumption in the coming financial year, according to new pricing figures approved by the Essential Services Commission.

In releasing its final approval for the Gippsland Water Plan 3, which sets annual price increases over the next five years, ESC chair Dr Ron Ben-David said an average Gippsland Water customer would see their annual bill decline by $9 in 2013/14.

The ESC decision comes after a detailed analysis of the Water Plan submitted by Gippsland Water in September last year, which proposed increases which would see the average household paying $1320 (excluding inflation) by 2017/18.

However according to the approved ESC figures, the average Gippsland Water household will pay a projected $1198 in 2017/18 (excluding inflation).

“After these initial changes, most customers’ bills will increase by no more than the rate of inflation and often by less,” Dr Ben-David said.

“We believe that the era of large water price increases has come to an end.”

This comes after the last pricing scheme controversially propelled Gippsland Water users into one of the highest paying regions in the state, with prices increasing about 98 per cent over five years.