Households will save up to $100 on their water bill each year under a proposal from Sydney Water.
Sydney Water’s pricing proposal to slash household and business bills for four years from next year has been welcomed by the New South Wales Government.
The 2016-20 plan released on Tuesday proposed the annual bill for the average household should be slashed by up to $100 and the average business should save more than 10 per cent.
If approved by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, the price cuts will come into effect from July 2016.
Minister for Lands and Water Niall Blair said the proposal to make Sydney Water more efficient to reduce water bills will assist families across Sydney.
Water Minister Niall Blair said it was an unprecedented move by a state utility.
“Today is a great day for the families and business that rely upon Sydney Water services,” he said.
“For the first time in living memory, we are now seeing a utility proposing a saving for customers.
“Anything that eases the cost of living is a big tick in my book.”
Sydney Water managing director Kevin Young said the utility made efficiency changes and was ready to pass savings onto customers.
“It’s actually the first time in my career in the water industry that this has occurred and it’s been driven by two things,” he said.
“One is record low interest rates and secondly we’ve made some terrific efficiency gains within the business and both of those savings we’d like to pass on to customers.”
Mr Baird said: “By making government agencies, like Sydney Water, more efficient it means those savings can be passed on to customers while still maintaining high quality service delivery.”
The NSW Government is investing $705 million over the 2015-16 financial year to maintain, renew and upgrade critical infrastructure across Sydney’s water and wastewater network.
Sydney Water’s proposed price reduction will apply from 2016-2020 and will be reviewed by the Independent Pricing & Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).
Sydney residents welcome proposed bill cuts
Pam Fowell is a keen gardener who lives in the north-west Sydney suburb of Beecroft.
She said she would welcome a $100 cut to her water bill if the new pricing proposal was approved.
“Every penny counts,” Ms Fowell said.
“It will help financially. I can then spend more on the garden.”
She has been a member of the Beecroft Garden Club for almost 50 years and said she used plenty of water for her garden and potted plants.
“A garden has to be watered,” she said.
“I have quite a number of potted plants. They need water and in pots they need water twice a day in the summertime.”
Ms Fowell said gardening was a big part of her life.
“I can’t ever think of giving up the garden,” she said.
“It has given me a lot of enjoyment in my life. It means friends, a lot of close friendships have been forged through gardening.”
The proposal is now open to the public for feedback.
Read more about Sydney Water’s pricing proposal.
Visit the IPART website to find out more about the review of prices for Sydney Water.