PIAC responded to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s (IPART) draft report on the review of prices for Hunter Water Corporation (Hunter Water) from July 2020.
We support the move away from fixed prices to pricing based on household water usage however, we consider more comprehensive pricing reform is needed. We recommend abandoning flat tariffs and implementing a two-part inclining block tariff structure.
We recognise Hunter Water has improved its engagement with community stakeholders but highlight there is significant room for improvement in the rigour and depth of consultation.
We recommend Hunter Water reviews the water rebates, supports and assistance measures available to NSW households.
We recommend Hunter Water transition recovery of waste water related costs from fixed charges to usage-based charges to better reflect consumer preferences and that this approach be applied across all regulated water businesses.
PIAC agrees with IPART’s decision to approve the discretionary project expenditure proposed by Hunter Water but raises two concerns with the detail of the proposed cost recovery process for the projects.
PIAC strongly supports the removal of location-based charging arrangements
We also address issues IPART is seeking comment on.