As you may be aware, we will soon be making some important changes to how we charge customers for water and sewerage services.
Are you a business customer? Click here for information about Simpler Pricing.
From Friday 1 October 2021, we will be streamlining and simplifying our tariffs, so they are more consistent, equitable, understandable and aligned to user pays principles.
Most of the changes will affect Non-Residential/Business customers, however, a small number of important changes will also Residential customers.
These are outlined below.
Per dwelling charges
From Friday 1 October 2021, residential customers will be charged on a per dwelling basis for Water Usage and Water and Sewerage Services.
Residential customers in our Brisbane, Ipswich and Somerset service regions are currently charged on a per account basis, while Residential customers in our Scenic Rim and Lockyer Valley service regions are charged on a per lot basis.
This change will create consistency across service regions.
A dwelling is defined as a self-contained premise under the exclusive use of the occupier that includes kitchen, bathroom and toilet facilities. More than one dwelling can exist on a lot, e.g. annexed units and granny flats.
Multi-Residential is a property classification we currently use for billing purposes.
At the moment, we apply Non-Residential tariffs to Multi-Residential properties regardless of their predominant use.
From Friday 1 October 2021, however, this will change.
As part of our Simpler Pricing initiative:
- Multi-Residential will be removed as a property classification.
- Multi-Residential properties will be reclassified as either Residential or Non-Residential based on their predominant use.
- Multi-Residential properties reclassified as Residential will be billed as per our new, simpler tariffs, whereby charges apply on a per-dwelling basis.
By making these changes, all residential customers in all service regions will be charged consistently.
Example: a single property with four self-contained residential dwellings is reclassified as residential based on its predominant use. Urban Utilities continues to issue a single bill each quarter to the property owner, however, as per dwelling charges now apply, it contains four water and sewerage services charges as opposed to one.
Most existing Multi-Residential properties can be simply re-classified as either Residential or Non-Residential, however, there may be a small number where it is difficult to determine predominant use. We’ll work proactively with these accounts to determine an appropriate classification.
Vacant Land changes
Simpler Pricing will also see us streamline vacant land charges.
From Friday 1 October 2021, vacant land charges will only apply where:
- water and/or sewerage services are available to a property, and
- the property is considered to be ‘connected’ to our network.
A property is considered to be ‘connected’ to our network if the infrastructure connecting the property to our network is there, which means:
- there could be a meter at the property,
- a meter has been capped,
- or a meter was there but has been removed.
As such, we’ll no longer apply charges to vacant land that isn’t and has never been ‘connected’ to our network, which means there isn’t, and never has been, a water meter nor sewer connection at the property.
Community Title Scheme changes
A Community Title Scheme is a group of individually owned strata titled units with common property.
We classify them into three groups – Option A, Option B and Option C – for billing purposes.
Option A schemes have sub-meters, and charges are divided amongst the owners of each unit on the basis of actual measured usage.
Option B schemes have no sub-meters, so charges are divided amongst the owners of each unit within the scheme on the basis of lot plan entitlements.
Option C schemes also have no sub-meters; however, charges are divided amongst the owners of each unit on the basis of bespoke Body Corporate agreements.
Simpler Pricing will affect each group in different ways.