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Getting help to pay your water bill
You have several options if you need help with your bill. You can first start by contacting your water corporation for help.
You can get a discount on your bill if you are eligible for a concession
The Victorian Government also offers up to 50% off their annual water and sewerage bill to eligible pensioners and health care card holders.
If you are eligible for a discount, make sure your name and address on the bill match the details on your concession card.
If you have a relevant concession card, you may be eligible for one of the following concessions:
Getting help for your bill if you are suffering from a temporary financial emergency
Another option for eligible cardholders is the utility relief grant. If you are suffering a temporary financial crisis, you can use the grant to pay your bills, including:
The maximum grant is:
- $650 every 2 years
- $1,300 every 2 years for all utilities combined.
You must apply for each type of utility separately.
Where to get help if you have a complaint about your bill
Talk to your water corporation about your issues if you are unhappy with the service. They can help you or direct you to the right service or organisation that can help.
If you are not satisfied with the solutions offered by your water corporation, you can contact:
- The Energy and Water Ombudsman can help with any disputes about your energy or water service provider.
- The Essential Services Commission (ESC) regulates prices, service quality and market conduct for the water sector.
How water prices are set
Victoria’s independent economic regulator, the ESC approves water and sewerage prices. When setting prices, the ESC considers several factors to keep prices as low as possible while still allowing water corporations to cover the costs of providing services. This means prices will:
- reflect the efficient cost of providing water and sewerage services
- consider customer interests.
Why we fix bill prices
Having a fixed price for water bills:
- gives cost control to customers
- meets the revenue needs of water businesses.
The total costs for delivering water services to households remain the same no matter how much water you use.
Understanding the different charges in your water bill
Usage and tariffs for households
The Essential Services Commission (ESC) approves the maximum tariffs and pricing structure for providing water services to you. Water corporations will use this information to charge you for water services. Water corporations can charge less than the maximum.
Your bills will have:
- fixed charges
- charges on the amount of water you used
- sewerage charges.
You will receive a fixed charge and a usage charge for sewerage if you are a customer of:
Regional customers will only get a fixed charge for their sewerage service.
For tenants, you will receive a bill from your water and sewerage provider for usage. The property owner will get the fixed bill.
Owner-occupiers will receive bills for the fixed and usage parts of the services they receive.
What is a step tariff?
The purpose of the step tariff is to conserve water. Introduced in 2004, the goal of the tariff was to conserve water during a period when water supply was falling. The tariff has 3 price levels where the price increases in step with a customer’s rise in water use.
The purpose of the stepped price is to encourage the customer to use water more efficiently and help with:
- lowering consumption
- delaying the need to build expensive new water supplies.
You can contact your water corporation for more information if you receive the step tariff.
What are waterways and drainage charges?
Melbourne Water cares for rivers throughout the Port Phillip and Westernport region. This includes over 8,4000 km of:
- regional drainage systems.
A key funding source for their work is the waterways and drainage charge.
What is a parks charge?
Residential and commercial water bills have included the Melbourne Metropolitan Parks charge since 1958. This supports Melbourne’s:
- public facilities.
The charge also supports:
- Melbourne’s zoos
- the Royal Botanic Garden
- The Shrine of Remembrance.
Page last updated: 08/09/23