21 December 2022

Icon Water seeks price rise, citing inflation and infrastructure investment

| Lottie Twyford
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Googong Dam in full flow with significant water spilling on 4 November

The provider says that water bills will rise due to inflation and infrastructure upgrades. Photo: Icon Water.

In its latest submission to the ACT’s economic regulator, Icon Water has sought a price rise of around $87 a year for the average household water bill, citing inflation, “economic conditions outside of [its] control” and the cost of upgrading ageing infrastructure.

The submission is being reviewed by the Independent Competition and Regulator (ICRC).


Icon Water’s revenue over the next five years. Image: Icon Water.

Icon Water’s price rise is higher than those outlined earlier this year in the ICRC’s draft decision.

In October, the regulator directed water prices should increase by about $50 a year or 4.2 per cent between 2023 and 2028.

At the time, the ICRC attributed the increase to the effect of Icon Water’s large planned investment in sewage treatment, increases in costs including wages, insurance, electricity and chemicals, the cost of debt and forecast inflation in the 2023-28 regulatory period.

But Icon Water now wants prices to rise by 6.5 per cent per annum over the same period.

That’s an increase of $1.67 a week in 2023-24 ($86.84 a year) for a typical residential customer consuming 200 kilolitres of water per year.

Icon Water managing director Ray Hezkial

Icon Water managing director Ray Hezkial said the water provider had consulted closely with the community before releasing its proposed pricing for next year. Photo: Region.

In a statement, Icon Water managing director Ray Hezkial said the provider was doing everything possible to keep prices as low as possible.

He said higher inflation and operational cost pressures, including higher insurance costs, were driving a “significant proportion” of the increase in water and wastewater prices.

“Over the next five years, Canberra has a critical window to upgrade wastewater facilities largely built in the 1960s and 1970s,” he said.

“Icon Water has been progressively planning for essential upgrades to these core elements and other components of the city’s network and treatment systems.”

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Mr Hezkial said this proposal had been informed by extensive consultation with more than 17,500 Canberrans, confirming that customers’ top priority was water security.

“The Icon Water submission proposes a sensible, rigorously assessed investment program that focuses on renewing and upgrading critical infrastructure to ensure continued quality services for our community whilst laying a sustainable platform for future generations,” he said.

“Our proposed projects will also help increase our resilience as a community to increasing climate volatility and protect our environment.

“If we delay investment now it will reduce prices slightly over the next five years, but it will be more costly in the long run, and it means future generations will have to pay higher prices.”

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Mr Hezkial acknowledged Canberrans were feeling the pinch as the cost of living continued to rise.

He said a range of supports is available and encouraged anyone struggling to pay their bills to reach out for assistance.

The ICRC will review submissions before it formally sets the wastewater and water prices which will apply from 1 June 2023 next year.

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Just like in the drought days. Trailers on the side of the road with how many litres of water were used each day with campaigns to save water, then water rates went up because they weren’t making money. Typical

It’s almost like a large amount of the costs of delivering water to people has nothing to do with the amount of water people use. Apparently there’s pipelines running all across Canberra.

Amazing huh.

Has Greta Thunberg famously said, ‘how dare you.’

Icon need to stop ripping people off. They charge separate ‘supply’ charge fees (to every single apartment/unit owner) in apartments and townhouses when the supply pipes are all the same. Even though in complexes there is only 1 water meter and 1 water bill, complexes are being over-charged for the ‘supply’ fee. Example: for 10 apartment owners they pay $177 EACH to Icon every 3 months (the same supply fee as individual stand-alone home owners pay). So Icon are getting $1,770 in fees every 3 months just for ‘supply fees’ to the one complex – note: the actual water charges are on top of that and are billed as one bill to the complex).

Icon need to get their act together and stop the exorbitant fees for doing nothing.

Capital Retro4:02 pm 22 Dec 22

Getting involved with controlling the climate and various woke agendas also costs a lot of money: https://the-riotact.com/icon-water-joins-the-race-to-zero-as-glasgow-climate-pact-announced/509571

Were about to head into drought so prices will skyrocket even faster. Last time we had low rainfall the prices went up as profits were down. Now prices are going up because more use and higher costs.
Labor can’t made a budget.

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