What Victorian Water Price Increases mean for Businesses

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Following the announcement by the Essential Services Commission, businesses in Victoria are set to face a steep increase in water prices but what does that really mean in dollar value?

The increases come as part of a government plan entitled Melbourne’s Water Future and have been released by the Office of Living Victoria. The plan aims to:

  • Cut the use of fresh water
  • Increase the use of storm and rainwater
  • Save Victoria up to $7bn by 2050
  • Save up to 35 per cent in energy use in the water sector, with emissions savings of up to 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2050

The average increase Victorian businesses can expect to pay is 22.4 per cent in the Melbourne metro area, with Yarra Valley Water prices increasing by as much as 24.6 per cent. Customers of Western Water will only see a 12.3 per cent rise, though still a significant cost to business.

To put this into perspective, a 10-storey office tower with around 300 people, will have an increased water bill of approximately $25,000 p.a.  Coupled with rising energy prices, these increases will cause a significant hike in company expenditure.

Fortunately, there are some straightforward solutions that can be implemented to reduce these and other rising utility costs. A water and energy efficiency company can be instructed to look at a company’s entire water and energy consumption and work out solutions that will ensure maximum efficiency and provide ongoing savings.

The chart below shows the type of evaluations that a water efficiency company will conduct.

Water Balance

Using the example of a 10-storey office tower, the following savings would be made after implementation of solutions.

Description of works and implementation of solutions 

The investment would be repaid after 2.3 years, providing a return on investment of 31.4% each year thereafter.  A reputable water and energy efficiency company will provide a free assessment of the company’s consumption, guarantee these savings and provide a fixed fee proposal. This will ensure that there are no surprise costs at the end of the project. 

Robin Archibald, COO of water and energy efficiency company Ecosave, says “Using a performance-based efficiency company ensures accountability for the total project costs and savings. If you work with an energy or water auditor and implement the solutions yourself, you will pay a fee to the auditor that might never be recouped. Additionally, nobody is responsible if the solutions do not deliver the promised savings.”

Robin continues “Ecosave, for example, verifies savings through before and after measurements and offers a money back guarantee if savings are not met. Additionally, we can provide funding for the entire package. It is important that businesses ask for these guarantees when engaging water and energy efficiency companies.”

New South Wales will follow in Victoria’s footsteps over the next three years and should expect a 28% increase in water prices. 

For more information on Ecosave’s solutions please call 1300 55 77 64.


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