Last year, we made some important changes to how we charge customers for water and sewerage services.

On Friday 1 October 2021, we introduced Simpler Pricing to streamline and simplify our tariffs to make them more:

  • equitable,
  • consistent, and
  • aligned to user pays principles.

As a result, your previous bill (Oct-Dec 2021) contained a mix of:

  • charges incurred up to 1 October 2021 under our old tariffs, and 
  • charges incurred from 1 October 2021 under our new, simpler tariffs.

By comparison, your current bill (Jan-Mar 2022) contains only charges incurred under our new, simpler tariffs.

For a small number of you, this change may mean a bill increase. 

If your bill has increased as a result Simpler Pricing and you’re experiencing difficulty making payment, we’re here to help. Please visit our Assistance Options page now for more details, or contact us 7am-7pm weekdays via webchat, customer.service@urbanutilities.com.au or 13 26 57.

Simpler Pricing is an initiative to streamline and simplify our tariffs and was introduced on Friday 1 October 2021 along with our FY22 prices.

Simpler Pricing means our tariffs are:

  • more equitable,
  • applied consistently across our service area, and
  • aligned to user pays principles.

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.

When Urban Utilities was formed in 2010, we inherited five different tariff suites from our five different shareholder councils.

Simpler Pricing has reduced our total number of tariffs from more than 400 to less than 100, allowing us to:

  • apply tariffs consistently and equitably across regions, and
  • serve customers more efficiently and effectively.

Simpler Pricing was introduced on Friday 1 October 2021 along with our FY22 prices.

Some of the key Simpler Pricing changes are listed below.

  • Consistent meter-size based Water and Sewerage Services charges across our service area.
  • A new Sewage Disposal charge to replace pedestal charges and some Trade Waste charges.
  • Consistent, streamlined Trade Waste charges across our service area.
  • Consistent, streamlined application of Vacant Land and Community Title Scheme charges across our service area.
  • Removal of the Multi-Residential customer classification.

Simpler Pricing changes the way some charges are calculated and what many non-residential customers pay for on their bills.

Simpler Pricing primarily applies to Non-Residential customers and may mean higher bills for some - typically who use a lot of water in their operations or those with large or multiple meters who benefit from increased flow rate, capacity and pressure.

We’ve been proactively working with many of these customers since late 2020, exploring ways to reduce their impacts and offering support and assistance.

If you’re experiencing difficulty paying your bills, we’re here to help.

Please contact us 8am-6pm weekdays via webchat, customer.service@urbanutilities.com.au or 13 26 57. 

We can explore ways for you to save water and money around your business and discuss payment extensions and arrangements suited to your needs.

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

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 areas incur Water Services charges based on the size and number of water meters servicing their property.

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

A new charge, Sewage Disposal was introduced on Friday 1 October 2021 to replace pedestal charges and some Trade Waste charges.

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

Sewage Disposal charges help pay for the collection, transport and treatment costs associated with below Domestic Strength sewage.

Trade Waste charges 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.

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.

Yes. Although standard Discharge Factors generally provide an appropriate estimate of the water use and disposal characteristics at a property, specific activities can influence the true Discharge Factor and justify a review process - e.g. relatively high rates of irrigation, feedwater to cooling towers or significant water retained in products.

To request a review of your Discharge Factor, please contact us 8am-6pm weekdays via webchat, customer.service@urbanutilities.com.au or 13 26 57.

 

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.

To request a review of your Land Use Code, please contact us 7am-7pm weekdays via webchat, customer.service@urbanutilities.com.au or 13 26 57.

 

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.

We’re here to help

For more information on the changes, please contact us 8am-6pm weekdays via webchat, customer.service@urbanutilities.com.au or 13 26 57.
 
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