[box border=”full”]“The commencement of more frequent and manageable water bills from the Water Corporation should help households who are struggling to be able to better manage their budgets,” said Irina Cattalini, CEO of WACOSS.[/box]
During the billing period commencing on 1 July all households in the metropolitan area will be issued a water bill every two months. Furthermore, the water service charge (which in the past has meant a large bill one a year) will now be spread across bills to make them more manageable.
“More frequent bills will allow households to review their water use more frequently – meaning that they can better spot when their water use goes up, and can spot wasteful and potentially expensive underground water leaks sooner,” said Ms Cattalini.
“The Council has been calling for more frequent and more manageable water bills for years to allow vulnerable and disadvantaged households on low and fixed incomes to better manage their budgets, which is why we are welcoming this move.”
The Council has however drawn the attention of its members to a potential issue with the Water Consumption Rebate that is available to those on the Pensioner Concession Card and State Concession Card.
“Because the rebate is calculated as a discount of 25% or 50% on the first 150kL of water used during a year, there is a chance that concession holders who use more water will cross this threshold without noticing,” she said.
“This means that after receiving four or five smaller bills of the same size they may unexpectedly receive a larger bill than they have budgeted for.”
“The Council is recommending that concession holders are warned on their bill when they are at risk of crossing the threshold in the next period, and that the Water Corporation looks at applying the rebate to each billing period in a manner that allows for higher rates of water use by households in summer,” she concluded.