Simpler Pricing is an initiative to streamline and simplify our tariffs, so they are simpler to understand,more equitable and applied consistently across our service regions. Simpler Pricing will also ensure our tariffs better reflect a user pays approach.

User pays is a sustainable, globally recognised resource pricing approach where customers who use or benefit more from water and sewerage services pay more than customers who use or benefit less.

As custodians of a precious natural resource, we believe it’s the best way to charge for essential services.

We inherited five different tariff structures from our five different local councils.

Simpler Pricing will see us reduce our total number of tariffs from more than 400 to less than 100, making them simpler to understand and allowing us to serve you more efficiently. It’ll also ensure tariffs are applied consistently and equitably across council regions.

Simpler Pricing will be introduced from Friday 1 October 2021.

Customers may notice changes to the water and sewerage charges on their bills from this date.

Simpler Pricing will change the way water and sewerage services charges are calculated and what some customers pay for on their bills.

Examples of the improvements include:

  • A new Sewage Disposal charge for non-residential customers, replacing pedestal charges and some Trade Waste charges.
  • Consistent Water Services charges for non-residential customers across service regions.
  • Consistent Sewerage Services charges for non-residential customers across service regions.
  • Consistent, streamlined Trade Waste charges across service regions.
  • Consistent per dwelling/unit-based charges for all customers.
  • Vacant land charges will no longer apply to unconnected properties.
  • Some changes to how charges apply to Multi-Residential properties and Community Title Schemes.

Many of the changes above are in direct response to customer feedback and insights.

Simpler Pricing will apply to all customers.

Our modelling indicates around three percent of our customer base may experience increased bills as a result of the changes and around three percent may experience decreased bills.

Most customers will, therefore, be unaffected by the changes.

That said, we acknowledge the impact the changes will have on some non-residential customers, particularly those with large water meters.

Since November 2020, both our Key Commercial Account and Simpler Pricing Customer Help teams have been proactively contacting customers likely to be most affected by the changes to offer support and assistance and to explore ways to reduce their impacts. 

Please note: our impact modelling is indicative only and based on several assumptions including estimated water usage volumes.

From Friday 1 October 2021, all non-residential customers in all service regions will incur Water Services charges based on the size and number of water meters servicing their property.

Non-residential customers in Ipswich and Scenic Rim are currently charged this way and soon their counterparts in Brisbane, Somerset and Lockyer Valley will be too.

For more information on our FY22 prices and charges, please visit our pricing page.

From Friday 1 October 2021, all non-residential customers in all service regions will incur Sewerage Services charges based on the connection size of the water meter/s servicing their property multiplied by a Discharge Factor percentage.

Non-residential customers currently incur Sewerage Services charges on a per pedestal (toilet, urinal, bedpan sanitiser, etc.) basis.

We listened to customer feedback about pedestal charges – in particular, feedback from the accommodation sector at the height of the Covid-19 restrictions in 2020 about paying for pedestals not in use – and will be changing the way we do things.

Simpler Pricing will introduce charges that better reflect the volume of sewage a non-residential customer produces, not the number of toilets on their property. For more information on our FY22 prices and charges, please visit our pricing page.

As there’s generally no meter at a property to measure sewage discharge, non-residential customers in all regions will incur new Sewage Disposal charges based on their Water Usage multiplied by a Discharge Factor percentage.

Sewage Disposal charges will replace pedestal charges and some Trade Waste charges and help pay for the collection, transport and treatment costs associated with below Domestic Strength sewage.

Trade Waste charges will still apply to above Domestic Strength sewage.

For more information on our FY22 prices and charges, please visit our pricing page.

No, we have no plans to introduce a Sewage Disposal charge for residential customers.

No. Simpler Pricing is a revenue neutral initiative.

It’s about a more consistent, equitable, streamlined, user pays tariff structure, which better aligns to customer needs.

A tariff, in simple terms, is the amount charged for a service – in our case, the provision of water and sewerage services.

Connection size, simply put, refers to the diameter of the water meter connecting your private plumbing to our water network pipe.

A customer with a larger connection can draw more water more quickly from our network, benefitting from increased flow rate, flow capacity and pressure.

A Discharge Factor is a percentage value identifying the proportion of water used at a property that is considered to be discharged back to the sewer network. 

 

Discharge Factor percentages are predominantly determined by Land Use Code and differ across property types and industries.

 

A hairdresser, for example, returns most of the water used on site to the sewerage network and is likely to have a higher discharge factor than say a nursery, which mostly uses water for irrigation.

 

Some Community Title Schemes may be assigned a Composite Discharge Factor to better reflect their overall sewage discharge.

 

Please contact the Simpler Pricing Customer Help Team to update or request a review of your Discharge Factor.

 

Our dedicated Simpler Pricing Customer Help team is available 8:30am-4pm weekdays via simplerpricing@urbanutilities.com.au or call 1300 220 434 (8:30am-4pm weekdays). 

Yes, if you believe your Land Use Code isn’t reflective of the fraction of water you dispose to our sewers. 

For example, this can happen where a substantial amount of water received at the premises is diverted to irrigation, cooling towers or otherwise does not make its way to our sewers.

Please note: the standard factors do make allowance for up to 10% loss through domestic and trade waste processes.

To ensure your charges are fair and accurate, we’ve established a review process for those seeking to amend their Discharge Factor.

If a customer wishes to have their Discharge Factor reviewed, it’ll be necessary to apply to Urban Utilities and provide a detailed water balance of their operations, including measurements or verified estimates of the water inputs and uses described above. 

The application form is available from our Simpler Pricing Customer Help team. We’ll provide more information about this process directly to customers.

Land Use Codes are based on property records, site inspections and account assessments and indicate the predominant use for which a property is utilised or adapted to be utilised by virtue of its structure, fixtures and fittings.

Please contact the Simpler Pricing Customer Help Team to update or request a review of your Land Use Code. The Team are available 8:30am-4pm weekdays via simplerpricing@urbanutilities.com.au or call 1300 220 434 (8:30am-4pm weekdays). 

No, we’ll handle everything in the background and automatically transition your account to Simpler Pricing on Friday 1 October 2021.

If we need you to do anything – e.g. validate your account information – we’ll contact you directly via your channel of choice.

Our Key Commercial Account and Simpler Pricing Customer Help teams are currently liaising with customers likely to be most affected by the changes to offer support and assistance and to explore ways to reduce their impacts.

As always, we’re here to help if you have any queries. Our dedicated Simpler Pricing Customer Help team is available 8:30am-4pm weekdays via simplerpricing@urbanutilities.com.au or by calling 1300 220 343.

No. Simpler Pricing doesn’t apply to recycled water tariffs.

No. Simpler Pricing doesn’t apply to metered standpipes or tanker filling stations.

We recognise many businesses who use a lot of water in their operations – such as food and beverage manufacturers and commercial laundries – are already very waterwise.

That said, Simpler Pricing does put more emphasis on variable charges, so non-residential customers, in particular, may be able to save water and money by using water more wisely.