Essential Services Commission
The Essential Services Commission (ESC) is responsible for regulating prices and service quality for the entire Victorian water industry.
The Commission's second pricing decision applies from 1 July 2008 (1 July 2009 for the metropolitan water corporations) to 30 June 2013. The Commission is currently reviewing proposed Water Plans of water corporations for the third pricing decision which will run from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2018.
Further information on the Commission's role and its first two reviews of water and sewerage prices can be found on the ESC website.
Water Industry Regulatory Order 2012
Under section 4D(1) of the Water Industry Act 1994, the Governor in Council has made the Water Industry Regulatory Order 2012 (WIRO 2012).
The WIRO provides the framework for regulation, by the Commission, of the Victorian water industry. It specifies:
- the services for which the ESC has the power to regulate prices as well as standards and conditions of service and supply;
- the procedural requirements and regulatory principles that the Commission must take into account when making price determinations for regulated water businesses; and
- additional functions conferred on the ESC to regulate service quality, performance monitoring and reporting, as well as compliance auditing, and to resolve specified disputes between regulated water businesses.
The WIRO 2012 came into operation on 18 October 2012 and will only apply to price determinations made for the third (2013/14 to 2017/18) and subsequent regulatory periods.
The WIRO 2003 (as amended in 2005 and 2008) will continue to apply to price determinations made for the second (2008/09 to 2012/13) regulatory period.
More information about the Water Industry Regulatory Order 2012 can be found on the Victorian Government Gazette (G42, 18 October 2012, 2360 to 2366).
Return of unrequired desalination payments to customers
The Commission is monitoring the return of unrequired desalination payments by the metropolitan water corporations and Western Water. Further information about this process is available at the ESC website.