Unitywater announces proposed 2014-15 prices for Sunshine Coast customers

Unitywater will continue to keep a lid on prices next financial year with a proposed increase of 3.5 percent to apply from 1 July 2014.
Unitywater’s increase does not include the State Government’s expected 13.2 percent increase in the price of bulk water for Sunshine Coast customers in 2014-15.
Unitywater purchases bulk water from the State Government to supply to its customers. Bulk water charges are set by the State Government and passed on via Unitywater bills.
The combined price rises will add about 20 cents per day to water and sewerage bills for the average Sunshine Coast household using 450 litres of water per day.
CEO George Theo said Unitywater was able to limit the increase in its fees and charges due to ongoing efforts to reduce costs and identify savings.
“In the past three years, we have saved 19 percent or approximately $38 million from our operating budget and shaved about $390 million off forecast capital works spending,” Mr Theo said.
“This has been achieved without compromising the standard of service delivery or the long-term viability of the network.
“These savings are helping us keep prices down but we know there is more to be done and we are getting on with the job of further reducing our costs.”
Mr Theo said Unitywater would invest an estimated $113 million in 2014-15 to support the ongoing delivery of water and sewerage services for its customers.
“This is part of the five-year forecast spend for 2014-15 to 2018-19 which will see about $700 million invested in infrastructure needed to cater for population growth and to meet strict environmental standards,” Mr Theo said.
He said the capital works program for next financial year for the Sunshine Coast included an $18 million upgrade of the Maleny Sewage Treatment Plant and wetlands, $46.5 million upgrade of the Nambour Sewage Treatment Plant and approximately $7.7 million annually across our service area for programs to replace meters, hydrants and valves.
Mr Theo said Unitywater had commenced phasing in a new pricing structure on 1 July 2013 and this would continue to be rolled out in 2014-15.
He said the majority of Unitywater customers had already moved to the new structure, with lower fixed access charges and higher variable usage charges to put greater emphasis on user pays.
The table below outlines the expected increase in Unitywater charges for Sunshine Coast households in 2014-15.

Expected customer bill impacts
Type of Customer
Annual Usage (KL)
2013-14 Total Annual Bill
2014-15 Total Annual Bill
Change in Unitywater component of the Bill
Change in Bulk Water Component of the Bill
Total Change in Bill
% change in Total Bill
Single Pensioner

29.2

$831.50
$865.86
$27.21
$7.15
$34.36

4.1%

Single Person

59.86

$925.88
$969.07
$28.52
$14.67
$43.18

4.7%

Couple + small garden

125.56

$1,128.15
$1,190.24
$31.33
$30.76
$62.09

5.5%

Two adults, one child + garden or pool

131.4

$1,146.13
$1,209.90
$31.58
$32.19
$63.77

5.6%

Two adults, two child no garden or pool

200.75

$1,359.63
$1,443.35
$34.54
$49.18
$83.73

6.2%

Two adults, two child + garden or pool

259.88

$1,541.67
$1,642.41
$37.07
$63.67
$100.74

6.5%

Large water user

481.8

$2,236.62
$2,401.65
$46.99
$118.04
$165.03

7.4%

SC Average Usage

160

$1,234.18
$1,306.18
$32.80
$39.20
$72.00

5.8%

For more information on Unitywater’s fees and charges please visit
http://www.unitywater.com/fees-and-charges