Price and Service Plan 2018-21

We have now submitted our proposed price and service plan (PSP) for the third regulatory period over the financial years 2018-19 to 2020-21 to the Tasmanian Economic Regulator (TER).

Our proposed PSP can be downloaded here.

Chapter 2 of the proposed PSP3 discusses customer and stakeholder consultation. This includes a summary of the feedback we received on key issues and how we have addressed this feedback in our draft PSP3 submission.

The TER is currently reviewing our proposal and will release its Draft Determination on 30 November 2017. It will call for public submissions on the Draft Determination through to the end of January 2018. More information is available on the Office of the Tasmanian Economic Regulator (OTTER) website.

Background

The PSP is required by the Tasmanian Economic Regulator, through the Office of the Tasmanian Economic Regulator (OTTER), to determine prices for water and sewerage services in Tasmania.

The PSP sets out the ways we will provide services to customers, including everything from providing water to providing sewerage services and dealing with trade waste.

It also sets out the prices that will be charged to enable these services to be provided.

The views of customers were critical in shaping the PSP as the PSP details how we propose to improve water and sewerage services for customers to meet regulatory requirements, how much this will cost and the resulting prices that customers will pay.

The plan will build on the progress that has been made during the current plan covering the 2015-18 period.

In particular the PSP will:

  • Demonstrate how we will meet its obligations to customers under the Tasmanian Water and Sewerage Industry Customer Service Code and legislation
  • Outline how we are working to meet its obligations to provide safe drinking water and the Environment Protection Authority's (EPA) environmental standards for sewage treatment plant discharges
  • Explain how our proposed infrastructure and running costs are necessary and efficient to support services for customers and improve environmental, drinking water and dam safety compliance
  • Explain how the views of our residential and business customers are reflected in the PSP.

Consultation

Our key engagement activities included:

Activity
Number of customers and stakeholders involved
Focus Groups to explore customers’ perceptions, views and priorities concerning TasWater.
40 customers over six focus groups (two in each of Devonport, Launceston, Hobart)
The Consultation Issues Paper to provide more detailed information and stimulate discussion.
  • Available via this website and advertised in three major newspapers, and letters and emails sent to major customers, peak bodies and government agencies to raise awareness of the Issues Paper.
  • Six submissions received, including five from Tasmanian local government bodies

Yoursay website portal with opportunity for anyone to comment.
Three comments received and responded to
Individual discussions and Workshops with major customers, Tasmanian Government, peak bodies.
Peak bodies representing the interests of specific groups, including low income, vulnerable and disadvantaged people, and various business sectors.

  • 11 major customers (12 approached)
  • 10 peak body stakeholder discussions (12 approached)
  • Workshops with three peak body representatives and four state government representatives
Participating in the OTTER Customer Consultative Committee (OCCC) to provide information on the development of our Long Term Strategic Plan (LTSP) and PSP3 submission and receive feedback from representative customers.
Presentations to four OCCC meetings between September 2016 and May 2017 with up to eight OCCC members and two observers at each meeting
Telephone surveys of a statistically representative sample of Tasmanian business and residential customers.
  • 135 randomly selected business customers
  • 406 randomly selected residential customers
Meetings and forums with organisations that regulate TasWater’s operations.
Regulator forums with the TER and each of the technical regulators:
  • Department of Health and Human Services – drinking water
  • Department of Primary Industries Water and Environment – dams
  • EPA - environment




We have now submitted our proposed price and service plan (PSP) for the third regulatory period over the financial years 2018-19 to 2020-21 to the Tasmanian Economic Regulator (TER).

Our proposed PSP can be downloaded here.

Chapter 2 of the proposed PSP3 discusses customer and stakeholder consultation. This includes a summary of the feedback we received on key issues and how we have addressed this feedback in our draft PSP3 submission.

The TER is currently reviewing our proposal and will release its Draft Determination on 30 November 2017. It will call for public submissions on the Draft Determination through to the end of January 2018. More information is available on the Office of the Tasmanian Economic Regulator (OTTER) website.

Background

The PSP is required by the Tasmanian Economic Regulator, through the Office of the Tasmanian Economic Regulator (OTTER), to determine prices for water and sewerage services in Tasmania.

The PSP sets out the ways we will provide services to customers, including everything from providing water to providing sewerage services and dealing with trade waste.

It also sets out the prices that will be charged to enable these services to be provided.

The views of customers were critical in shaping the PSP as the PSP details how we propose to improve water and sewerage services for customers to meet regulatory requirements, how much this will cost and the resulting prices that customers will pay.

The plan will build on the progress that has been made during the current plan covering the 2015-18 period.

In particular the PSP will:

  • Demonstrate how we will meet its obligations to customers under the Tasmanian Water and Sewerage Industry Customer Service Code and legislation
  • Outline how we are working to meet its obligations to provide safe drinking water and the Environment Protection Authority's (EPA) environmental standards for sewage treatment plant discharges
  • Explain how our proposed infrastructure and running costs are necessary and efficient to support services for customers and improve environmental, drinking water and dam safety compliance
  • Explain how the views of our residential and business customers are reflected in the PSP.

Consultation

Our key engagement activities included:

Activity
Number of customers and stakeholders involved
Focus Groups to explore customers’ perceptions, views and priorities concerning TasWater.
40 customers over six focus groups (two in each of Devonport, Launceston, Hobart)
The Consultation Issues Paper to provide more detailed information and stimulate discussion.
  • Available via this website and advertised in three major newspapers, and letters and emails sent to major customers, peak bodies and government agencies to raise awareness of the Issues Paper.
  • Six submissions received, including five from Tasmanian local government bodies

Yoursay website portal with opportunity for anyone to comment.
Three comments received and responded to
Individual discussions and Workshops with major customers, Tasmanian Government, peak bodies.
Peak bodies representing the interests of specific groups, including low income, vulnerable and disadvantaged people, and various business sectors.

  • 11 major customers (12 approached)
  • 10 peak body stakeholder discussions (12 approached)
  • Workshops with three peak body representatives and four state government representatives
Participating in the OTTER Customer Consultative Committee (OCCC) to provide information on the development of our Long Term Strategic Plan (LTSP) and PSP3 submission and receive feedback from representative customers.
Presentations to four OCCC meetings between September 2016 and May 2017 with up to eight OCCC members and two observers at each meeting
Telephone surveys of a statistically representative sample of Tasmanian business and residential customers.
  • 135 randomly selected business customers
  • 406 randomly selected residential customers
Meetings and forums with organisations that regulate TasWater’s operations.
Regulator forums with the TER and each of the technical regulators:
  • Department of Health and Human Services – drinking water
  • Department of Primary Industries Water and Environment – dams
  • EPA - environment




Discussions: All (7) Open (7)
  • What do you think the relative importance of our priorities should be?

    • Protecting public health by providing safe and clean drinking water across Tasmania
    • Reducing the environmental impact from water that is discharged from sewage treatment plants
    • Ensuring the safety of dams to protect water security and public safety
    • Maintaining reliable networks to reduce water service interruptions and sewage spills
    • Increasing water storage capacity to avoid water restrictions
    • Helping Tasmania’s economy to grow by supporting new development.

    What do you think the relative importance of our priorities should be?

    • Protecting public health by providing safe and clean drinking water across Tasmania
    • Reducing the environmental impact from water that is discharged from sewage treatment plants
    • Ensuring the safety of dams to protect water security and public safety
    • Maintaining reliable networks to reduce water service interruptions and sewage spills
    • Increasing water storage capacity to avoid water restrictions
    • Helping Tasmania’s economy to grow by supporting new development.

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    • What do you think about the split of spending across the priorities?
    • What do you think of the timing of spending we have proposed for the priorities?
    • Are there other specific projects TasWater should be investing in that are important to you?

    • What do you think about the split of spending across the priorities?
    • What do you think of the timing of spending we have proposed for the priorities?
    • Are there other specific projects TasWater should be investing in that are important to you?

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    • What do you think is a reasonable percentage increase per year in PSP3 given the need to substantially improve drinking water quality and reduce our impact on the environment, yet recognising the need to keep customer bills affordable?
    • Would you be willing to pay more to further accelerate improvements to drinking water and the environment?  What is the maximum percentage increase you would be prepared to pay for an accelerated program? 
    • Do you think the variable/fixed split for charges:
      • Should be weighted more toward fixed? If so, why?
      • Is about right (i.e. variable/fixed charges should reflect... Continue reading

    • What do you think is a reasonable percentage increase per year in PSP3 given the need to substantially improve drinking water quality and reduce our impact on the environment, yet recognising the need to keep customer bills affordable?
    • Would you be willing to pay more to further accelerate improvements to drinking water and the environment?  What is the maximum percentage increase you would be prepared to pay for an accelerated program? 
    • Do you think the variable/fixed split for charges:
      • Should be weighted more toward fixed? If so, why?
      • Is about right (i.e. variable/fixed charges should reflect variable/fixed costs)?
      • Should be weighted more toward variable? If so, why?
    • What do you think about our equivalent tenement methodology for sewerage bills?

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    • For the customer service standards identified in Table 5 (in the Consultation Issues Paper) , would you prefer:
      • Improved standards (e.g. faster response times, shorter and less frequent service interruptions) which could mean higher costs or fewer resources to improve drinking water quality or environmental outcomes?
      • About the same standards as they are now?
      • Reduced standards (e.g. slower response times, longer or more frequent service interruptions) which could reduce the upward pressure on costs but may increase human health or environmental risks?
    • Are there any other standards that you think should be changed (improved or reduced)?
    • ... Continue reading

    • For the customer service standards identified in Table 5 (in the Consultation Issues Paper) , would you prefer:
      • Improved standards (e.g. faster response times, shorter and less frequent service interruptions) which could mean higher costs or fewer resources to improve drinking water quality or environmental outcomes?
      • About the same standards as they are now?
      • Reduced standards (e.g. slower response times, longer or more frequent service interruptions) which could reduce the upward pressure on costs but may increase human health or environmental risks?
    • Are there any other standards that you think should be changed (improved or reduced)?
    • Should we introduce differential standards so that regions receive lower levels of service to balance out the cost to provide service to those areas (e.g. areas with a higher cost to serve receive a lower standard of service)? 

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    • Is our definition of serviced land (p.76) clear? If not, how could it be improved? Is there additional information we should provide about the quality of service?
    • Should everyone that can access water and/or sewerage services contribute to the costs through the fixed or service charge, regardless of whether they currently are physically connected?
    • Should we allow new connections outside serviced land? Should there be any exceptions like industrial or agricultural development?

    • Is our definition of serviced land (p.76) clear? If not, how could it be improved? Is there additional information we should provide about the quality of service?
    • Should everyone that can access water and/or sewerage services contribute to the costs through the fixed or service charge, regardless of whether they currently are physically connected?
    • Should we allow new connections outside serviced land? Should there be any exceptions like industrial or agricultural development?

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    • Are our development policies clear and fair?
    • In general, should all customers contribute to the cost of growth and development as it supports the economic prosperity of Tasmania?
    • For specific developments, is it reasonable that developer(s) pay the works internal and works external costs attributable to their development(s)?

    • Are our development policies clear and fair?
    • In general, should all customers contribute to the cost of growth and development as it supports the economic prosperity of Tasmania?
    • For specific developments, is it reasonable that developer(s) pay the works internal and works external costs attributable to their development(s)?

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    • Is our trade waste policy clear and fair?
    • Are the trade waste arrangements flexible enough for the requirements and variability of your business?
    • To support Tasmania’s economic growth, should all customers contribute to the costs of managing trade waste, or should the costs be paid directly by those that generate the waste (user pays)? 

    • Is our trade waste policy clear and fair?
    • Are the trade waste arrangements flexible enough for the requirements and variability of your business?
    • To support Tasmania’s economic growth, should all customers contribute to the costs of managing trade waste, or should the costs be paid directly by those that generate the waste (user pays)? 

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