Hunter Water Managing Director Kim Wood said if the submission is accepted, the cost of water for most customers will increase by an average of 40 cents per week.
"Prices are set by IPART typically for a four year period. One of the key features of our submission is to keep the cost of water and wastewater services as low as possible while maintaining and improving services for our customers,” he said.
“Hunter Water is proposing to reduce all stormwater charges and to restrict any increase to water usage charges to 2.1 per cent – this means customers can expect water services to increase by around only 40 cents per week for a typical bill. While apartment owners in blocks of units served by a common meter will pay a little more for a sewerage service than before, this will still be less than for a typical house,” he said.
Mr Wood said Hunter Water is not immune to the increasing costs being faced by many Australian businesses.
“Hunter Water operates some 520 pumping stations, 6 water treatment plants and 19 waste water treatment facilities,” he said.
“The cost of electricity alone makes up 12 per cent of our total operating costs and Hunter Water is, like many other businesses, affected by rising costs. Hunter Water customers enjoy the services of one of the lowest-priced water utilities within Australia and we are committed to keeping our customers supplied with a quality product at an affordable price."
“We will be absorbing as much of the additional cost pressures as it can by focussing its efforts further on business efficiencies and innovative technology,” he said.
IPART will hold a formal public hearing on Hunter Water’s prices in Newcastle on Tuesday 13 November. Details will be advertised in local newspapers and available from IPART’s website www.ipart.nsw.gov.au. Hunter Water’s submission will be available on IPART’s website from early next week. Hunter Water’s price submission is open for public comment until 12 October 2012.