Price Submission

We listened to our customers and community to inform our 2023-28 Price Submission.

Updated June 2023

Every five years we submit our plan for our services and our prices to the Essential Services Commission (ESC), Victoria’s independent regulator of water services for consumers. This is called a price submission, which the ESC reviews and approves.

The ESC has approved our 2023-28 price submission, which is effective from 1 July 2023 until 30 June 2028.

Our customers made it clear that affordability and fairness should be a priority, so we focused on achieving bill reductions (before inflation) and checking that all of our fees and charges were attributed to those who use them, at the lowest possible cost.

Over the next five years, we’ll deliver services that reflect our customers’ priorities, issues and concerns while at the same time saving them money.

Key initiatives in our submission include:

  • $268 million for capital investments to meet higher demand and higher service levels
  • $10.5 million for energy projects to increase system resilience, boost renewable energy generation and reduce long-term energy costs
  • $100,000 per year in programs that support the wellbeing of our community, including more public drinking fountains
  • An app to provide greater flexibility in managing bill payments and the ability to monitor water usage
  • Faster response to sewer blockages
  • Annual education and awareness campaigns that focus on water conservation, sustainability, wellbeing and customer support
  • More customer care resources, employing and upskilling more staff to reach out early and provide tailored support for those doing it tough
  • Increased investment in Aboriginal employment and cultural recognition initiatives
  • SMS notifications for unplanned service interruptions and a live outage tracker

Our submission

Read more about our 2023-28 Price Submission.

Read the ESC's determination.

Read an update from the ESC on our performance and delivery of major projects 


Our Price Submission engagement journey

Stage 1: Awareness raising and early engagement

November 2020 - February 2021

This period was about raising awareness of our plans and sharing information about what we do and some of the challenges and issues we face.

Key activities:

  • Price Submission and Urban Water Strategy launched on the Let’s Talk engagement hub of our website
  • local media – articles and advertisements
  • social media updates
  • online community event
  • Commenced recruitment campaign for new Customer Reference Group
  • annual Customer Satisfaction Survey (in alliance with eight water corporations)
  • Water Services Association of Australia bi-annual customer survey

Stage 2: Customer insights and expectations

February – May 2021

In this stage, we aimed to find out what our customers value and expect from us – as well as their ideas on how to tackle some of the challenges we face. We engaged with other key stakeholders to find out the issues that are most important to them.

Key activities:

  • face-to-face interviews with customers
  • in-person attendance at community events
  • feedback form sent to all customers with their bills
  • online feedback form submissions
  • social media updates and conversations
  • local media stories and advertising
  • free webinars
  • interviews with key stakeholders
  • meetings with youth groups, youth councils, and education networks
  • Customer Reference Group input into engagement strategy and updates on insights

We also recruited a Customer Reference Group who play a key role in developing our Price Submission, making sure customer expectations are understood and reflected in our plans for the future.

Stage 3: Establishing preferences

November 2021 - February 2022

In this stage, we sought to get a better understanding of the issues that customers told us are important to them through workshops and focus groups. We also sought to establish customer preferences relating to potential initiatives and collect further insights on issues

for deliberation at the customer summit.

Key activities:

  • 10 customer workshops
  • 3 customer focus groups (Urban Water Strategy)
  • interviews with stakeholders
  • interviews with everyday customers
  • meetings with Traditional Owners and Aboriginal community members
  • special focus on customers experiencing financial difficulties
  • meetings with youth groups, youth councils, and education networks
  • targeted engagement with cohorts who are likely to be impacted by initiatives in our Price Submission
  • customer preferences survey

Stage 4: Deliberations

March - June 2022

We collaborated with the community to develop recommendations on key issues for our Price Submission through our customer summit and deliberative sessions with our Customer Reference Group.

Key activities:

  • Customer Reference Group deliberation on bill control and tariffs (March meeting)
  • customer summit deliberative forum
  • Customer Reference Group attestation of customer summit (May meeting)
  • Board consideration of recommendations

Stage 5: Development drafting and review

October 2021 - September 2022

We brought together all the input we received throughout the engagement program to inform and shape the draft of our Price Submission. In July 2022, we developed a Price Submission Directions paper and released it for community feedback. We checked back with our stakeholders to make sure we hadn’t missed or misinterpreted any of their input, and we reconvened the customer summit panel to take them through how their recommendations were included in our submission.

Key activities:

  • Close the loop with our Customer Reference Group and customer summit panel to let them know how we’ve used their input in drafting our submission
  • Release Price Submission Directions paper for community feedback
  • Review and consider feedback received in response to Directions Paper in Price Submission draft
  • Submit to the Essential Services Commission

Updates on progress

October 2022 – 2027

We’ll continue to keep our customers, communities and stakeholders updated about the progress of the Price Submission (including the Essential Services Commission’s determination and the progress of our commitments).

We’ll also keep our customers updated on how we are delivering our promises to the community, which we’ll make as part of our Price Submission.