We are now approaching the one year mark in our 2020-24 pricing – a moment we could only hope to imagine while we worked on our pricing submission to the Essential Services Commission throughout 2019 and 2020.
We worked hard to reduce costs and implemented several important changes to our tariff structure. These actions enabled us to propose a landmark reduction in our revenue requirement, and to pass those savings onto customers.
As always, the question we ask ourselves is, “What does this mean for our customers?” A year into our pricing, what benefits have our customers seen?
Most of our customers will already have seen an average of 10 per cent drop on their bills. Our pricing for this period is based on revenue of $440 million over the four year period – around $65 million lower than the previous four year period.
Also supporting the cost reductions were efficiencies arising from infrastructure modernisation – something we are looking forward to continuing with our Water Efficiency Project.
We have continued to deliver efficiencies and cost reductions without impacting on the level of service, and we have re-prioritised expenditure into the areas that provide our customers with the best value for money.
Engaging with our customers was a large part of forming our pricing submission, and customers gave us some of their key priorities: Reliable supply, responsive services and fair pricing.
We are pleased to announce that we have so far met, and in some cases exceeded, our key performance indicators for the important customer outcomes. This is in large part thanks to our hard-working staff, who have continued to work through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to deliver for our customers with barely a hiccup in the process.
This is also the first year of uniform pricing across the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID), in which we have aligned the Shepparton region with the other five districts in order to support a common infrastructure access fee and infrastructure use fee for the entire GMID.
Our customers will also see some changes to how we issue their accounts in the upcoming billing cycle.
Customers with multiple service fees will have those charges consolidated into one Customer Fee. This means that customers will receive only one bill, rather than a bill for each property as they have in the past.
This helps GMW to lower administration costs, and we hope it offers a better experience for our customers as well.
We see this as a new era for GMW, one in which we are a leaner, more efficient organisation that services our customers for the betterment and prosperity of our wonderful region.
As we continue to drive efficiencies and innovation across our organisation through the consolidation and reduction of costs, we can pass these savings onto our customers – we are proud to say this first year of pricing for 2020-24 has delivered a fairer deal for all, and we look forward to working closely with our customers to continue delivering on our promises.
More information on our 2020-24 pricing, and a customer report card that shows our progress, can be found at www.gmwater.com.au/pricing