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Water Price Review

We are planning for the services we will provide and our prices from 1 July 2018 to 2023.

Every five years all water businesses undergo a Water Price Review run by the Essential Services Commission (ESC) and our price submission proposal aims to communicate to the ESC the services that our customers want at what they determine is the right price.

Through our customer research and insights programs, we focus on listening to our customers and the communities we serve. From our initial customer insights we identified four outcomes that matter most to our customers:


We have been seeking your input on those four outcome areas to make sure that we had correctly understood what we had heard. We have also tested those outcomes with our independently run Citizens' Jury.

To better reflect the customer insights, we evolved the four outcomes to seven to reflect what we now understand our customers to expect and value. We have identified a distinction between core service and community based outcomes:


Core Service Outcomes:

Community Focused Outcomes:









We are planning for the services we will provide and our prices from 1 July 2018 to 2023.

Every five years all water businesses undergo a Water Price Review run by the Essential Services Commission (ESC) and our price submission proposal aims to communicate to the ESC the services that our customers want at what they determine is the right price.

Through our customer research and insights programs, we focus on listening to our customers and the communities we serve. From our initial customer insights we identified four outcomes that matter most to our customers:


We have been seeking your input on those four outcome areas to make sure that we had correctly understood what we had heard. We have also tested those outcomes with our independently run Citizens' Jury.

To better reflect the customer insights, we evolved the four outcomes to seven to reflect what we now understand our customers to expect and value. We have identified a distinction between core service and community based outcomes:


Core Service Outcomes:

Community Focused Outcomes:









  • Our response to the Citizens' Jury's recommendations

    3 months ago
    Board response to recommendations

    We recently met with our Citizens’ Jury for the final time to formally respond to their Recommendations.

    The Jurors spent more than 40 hours over three months addressing their challenge: ‘We need to find a balance between price and service which is fair for everyone. How should we do this?’

    The Jury:

    • explored the insights from our customer research and engagement,
    • heard from experts chosen and elected by our stakeholders and the Jury,
    • read submissions made by the public, and
    • considered the details provided in our comprehensive Jury information pack.

    Their Recommendations were provided to our Chair, Sue O’Connor and... Continue reading

    We recently met with our Citizens’ Jury for the final time to formally respond to their Recommendations.

    The Jurors spent more than 40 hours over three months addressing their challenge: ‘We need to find a balance between price and service which is fair for everyone. How should we do this?’

    The Jury:

    • explored the insights from our customer research and engagement,
    • heard from experts chosen and elected by our stakeholders and the Jury,
    • read submissions made by the public, and
    • considered the details provided in our comprehensive Jury information pack.

    Their Recommendations were provided to our Chair, Sue O’Connor and our Managing Director, Pat McCafferty for the Board’s review and consideration at the Jury’s final meeting.

    Yarra Valley Water will pursue all ten of the Citizens’ Jury recommendations. Eight of the recommendations will be fully adopted with some minor variations to the remaining two.

    We will use these Recommendations to anchor our price submission and focus our business efforts overall to deliver greater value to our customers. While customers want to avoid increases to their bill increase, they have also told us that small annual price changes are better than a single large change, and they value increased service levels over a bill decrease.

    We know that affordability of essential services is an important issue for households and businesses. We are committed to delivering productivity savings to take pressure off prices and pass these savings onto customers. We will continue to support customers having difficulty paying their bill with sensitivity and empathy, and ensure that a genuine inability to pay does not compromise access to essential water and sanitation services.

    Download our response to the Jury's Recommendations (PDF, 1.41 MB)
  • Underlying Themes and Outcomes

    3 months ago
    Doc


    The Citizens' Jury made ten recommendations as a result of their 40 hours of deliberation. They presented those recommendation to the Yarra Valley Water Board on 7 August.

    You can read the full report from the Yarra Valley Water Citizens' Jury here.


    Underlying Themes

    Five significant underlying themes emerged from the Jury’s deliberations:

    • Assist vulnerable customers
    • Ensure drinking water supply for the future, through leakage reduction, digital metering, alternative water supply options and water conservation
    • Target efficiency and research to reduce costs and pass on benefits
    • Protect the environment
    • Use communication and education mechanisms to enhance the achievement of the... Continue reading


    The Citizens' Jury made ten recommendations as a result of their 40 hours of deliberation. They presented those recommendation to the Yarra Valley Water Board on 7 August.

    You can read the full report from the Yarra Valley Water Citizens' Jury here.


    Underlying Themes

    Five significant underlying themes emerged from the Jury’s deliberations:

    • Assist vulnerable customers
    • Ensure drinking water supply for the future, through leakage reduction, digital metering, alternative water supply options and water conservation
    • Target efficiency and research to reduce costs and pass on benefits
    • Protect the environment
    • Use communication and education mechanisms to enhance the achievement of the above objectives


    An Evolution of our Outcomes

    In response to the Jury’s recommendations and understanding the sentiment behind them, we have identified:

    • a distinction between core service and community based outcomes
    • water is a scarce and valuable resource – customers prioritise conserving water for the future


    As a result of these insights, we evolved the four outcomes to seven, to reflect what we now understand our customers value.


    Core service outcomes....

    water that is safe to drink

    water and sewerage services that I can rely on

    fast response and effective restoration of my service when it is interrupted


    Community Based Outcomes...

    support for customers having difficulty paying their bill

    saving water now so it’s available in the future

    modern, flexible service and advice that suits my needs

    looking after the environment



    We will use these Outcomes so that we can focus our business efforts overall to deliver better value to our customers.




  • The Jury's Guiding Principles for Fairness

    3 months ago
    2017 09 05 14 22 02


    The Jury established a criteria and principles which they used to guide their deliberations as they responded to their remit:

    We need to find a balance between price and service which is fair for everyone.

    How should we do this?

    To ensure their recommendations were 'fair for everyone' the Jury required that they be:

    • Equitable (in terms of price impact and service access)
    • Representative (consideration given to all groups)
    • Transparent and visible (in relation to information and pricing)
    • Affordable (affordable service and support for those who need help)
    • Flexible and responsive (provides choice and... Continue reading


    The Jury established a criteria and principles which they used to guide their deliberations as they responded to their remit:

    We need to find a balance between price and service which is fair for everyone.

    How should we do this?

    To ensure their recommendations were 'fair for everyone' the Jury required that they be:

    • Equitable (in terms of price impact and service access)
    • Representative (consideration given to all groups)
    • Transparent and visible (in relation to information and pricing)
    • Affordable (affordable service and support for those who need help)
    • Flexible and responsive (provides choice and meets differing needs)
    • Consistent service standards (for customers within the same service area)
    • Sustainable over the long-term (reinvestment)

  • Citizens' Jury Recommendations are in

    5 months ago
    Workign on report

    The Yarra Valley Water Citizens' Jury met for their final session on Saturday 22 July where they deliberated over the challenge before them:

    We need to find a balance between price and service which is fair for everyone.

    How can we do this?

    With unwavering commitment to the challenge, the Citizens' Jury worked solidly all day, challenging their own assumptions and those of Yarra Valley Water to ensure their recommendations reflected the desired outcomes for all of Yarra Valley Water's customers.

    At the day's closing, the Jury presented their recommendations to the Yarra Valley Water Chair Sue O'Connor and Managing... Continue reading

    The Yarra Valley Water Citizens' Jury met for their final session on Saturday 22 July where they deliberated over the challenge before them:

    We need to find a balance between price and service which is fair for everyone.

    How can we do this?

    With unwavering commitment to the challenge, the Citizens' Jury worked solidly all day, challenging their own assumptions and those of Yarra Valley Water to ensure their recommendations reflected the desired outcomes for all of Yarra Valley Water's customers.

    At the day's closing, the Jury presented their recommendations to the Yarra Valley Water Chair Sue O'Connor and Managing Director Pat McCafferty.

    The Jury's recommendations on how a fair balance between price and service can be delivered have been provided in their report. You can read the full report here.

    Yarra Valley Water is now developing a response to the Jury's recommendations and finalising the draft Price Submission. The Yarra Valley Water Board will provide an in-person response to the Citizens' Jury on 31 August.

    A copy of the Yarra Valley Water response to the recommendations and the draft price submission will be made available in the coming weeks for comment, before the final submission is made to the Essential Services Commission at the end of September.

    Yarra Valley Water would like to extend our thanks and express our great appreciation to the customers who joined us and committed their time and boundless energy to the task before them. The Jury worked tirelessly to represent their friends, families and community, attending in person for five and half days as well as participating in on-line discussions, reading vast amounts of information and conversing with the community to assist them to formulate and test their ideas and perspective. We are grateful for their participation.





  • Summary of your Feedback

    7 months ago
    Reports 2

    Thank-you for your feedback on the services that we deliver.

    We asked for your feedback on the four Outcome areas that we heard matter most:

    • Quality Water Services
    • Reliable and Timely Service
    • Fair for all Customers
    • Care and Protection of the Environment
    Your feedback has been collated under the categories in which you provided it and is summarised in the document here.

    Your feedback is informing the development of our Price Submission. It was also provided to our Citizens' Jury so that they could consider your input in the development of their recommendations. The Citizen's Jury presented their recommendations... Continue reading

    Thank-you for your feedback on the services that we deliver.

    We asked for your feedback on the four Outcome areas that we heard matter most:

    • Quality Water Services
    • Reliable and Timely Service
    • Fair for all Customers
    • Care and Protection of the Environment
    Your feedback has been collated under the categories in which you provided it and is summarised in the document here.

    Your feedback is informing the development of our Price Submission. It was also provided to our Citizens' Jury so that they could consider your input in the development of their recommendations. The Citizen's Jury presented their recommendations to the Yarra Valley Water Chair and Managing Director on the 22nd July when they closed the Jury.

    You were also invited to complete a submission for the consideration of the Yarra Valley Water Citizens' Jury.

    The submissions which were submitted to the Jury can be found in the document library.

    The opportunity to comment on the Citizens' Jury recommendations is now available and we will continue to consider your input as the feedback comes in.


  • Last chance to observe our Citizens' Jury

    5 months ago
    5

    This Saturday, 22 July, our Citizens' Jury meets for their fifth and final full day of deliberations. At the close of the day, they will hand down their final recommendations to our Chair and Managing Director.

    We have a limited number of places still available for you to observe our Citizens' Jury as they address the challenge:

    "We need to find the balance between price and service which is fair for everyone.
    How can we do this?"

    Saturday, 22 July 2017 at 9:15 am to 5:00 pm

    The Box Hill Pavilion
    1155 Whitehorse Road
    Box Hill View Map... Continue reading

    This Saturday, 22 July, our Citizens' Jury meets for their fifth and final full day of deliberations. At the close of the day, they will hand down their final recommendations to our Chair and Managing Director.

    We have a limited number of places still available for you to observe our Citizens' Jury as they address the challenge:

    "We need to find the balance between price and service which is fair for everyone.
    How can we do this?"

    Saturday, 22 July 2017 at 9:15 am to 5:00 pm

    The Box Hill Pavilion
    1155 Whitehorse Road
    Box Hill View Map


  • Citizens' Jury meet for their fourth full day session

    5 months ago
    Day4

    On Saturday, 1 July 2017, our Citizens' Jury met for their fourth full day of deliberations.

    The Jury had the opportunity to meet with members of our Board and Executive team to test their thinking as they find a fair balance between price and service.

    "We need to find the balance between price and service which is fair for everyone. How can we do this?"

    The Jury also spent quite a bit of the day debating and agreeing on key outcomes for their recommendations. They will meet for the fifth and final time on Saturday, 22 July 2017 when... Continue reading

    On Saturday, 1 July 2017, our Citizens' Jury met for their fourth full day of deliberations.

    The Jury had the opportunity to meet with members of our Board and Executive team to test their thinking as they find a fair balance between price and service.

    "We need to find the balance between price and service which is fair for everyone. How can we do this?"

    The Jury also spent quite a bit of the day debating and agreeing on key outcomes for their recommendations. They will meet for the fifth and final time on Saturday, 22 July 2017 when they will formally hand their recommendations to our Chair, Sue O'Connor and Managing Director, Pat McCafferty.

    Yarra Valley Water Citizens' Jury: Meeting 4 wrap up (video)

    We asked: "What is the Jury's greatest challenge...?"

    Kristen (Juror): "I think the greatest challenge for the jury is balancing difference of opinions, so where people have a fundamental difference in the way that they see the world and their underlying philosophy about how they approach fairness."

    Jean-Pierre (Juror): "We've nutted it out quite a lot and I think we've concentrated maybe a bit too much on fairness and not on, what's, you know, the service and the price component. But I think today we made a big headway and we're getting there so I think we're well on our way to achieving that goal."

    Natalie (Juror): "It's been very difficult within itself to define what fair is because there is so many different groups of people that use water. So it's hard to consider everyone and it's made us, this process has made us very mindful of the fact that it's just not me using water but the community as a whole, and it's not just water use. It's all about the environment, it's all about lots of long-term investments that need to made."

    REGISTER TO OBSERVE THE JURY

    Meeting 5: Saturday, 22 July 2017 at 9:15 am to 4:20 pm

    The Box Hill Pavilion
    1155 Whitehorse Road
    Box Hill View Map



  • Citizens' Jury meet for their third full day session

    6 months ago
    2017 06 17 08 41 56

    On Saturday, 17 June 2017, our Citizens' Jury met for their third full day. The Jury heard from five speakers who they believed could fill knowledge gaps and provide alternative views.

    • Chris Williams, General Manager Integrated Planning, Melbourne Water
    • Stuart Wilson, Deputy Executive Director, Water Services Association of Australia
    • Dr Pierre Mukheibir, Associate Professor, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney
    • Juliet le Feuvre, Healthy Rivers and Nature Campaign Manager, Environment Victoria
    • Terry Leckie, Founder & Managing Director, Flow Systems

    The Jury also spent time starting to find a fair balance between price and service.

    "We... Continue reading

    On Saturday, 17 June 2017, our Citizens' Jury met for their third full day. The Jury heard from five speakers who they believed could fill knowledge gaps and provide alternative views.

    • Chris Williams, General Manager Integrated Planning, Melbourne Water
    • Stuart Wilson, Deputy Executive Director, Water Services Association of Australia
    • Dr Pierre Mukheibir, Associate Professor, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney
    • Juliet le Feuvre, Healthy Rivers and Nature Campaign Manager, Environment Victoria
    • Terry Leckie, Founder & Managing Director, Flow Systems

    The Jury also spent time starting to find a fair balance between price and service.

    "We need to find the balance between price and service which is fair for everyone. How can we do this?"

    The Jury next meets on Saturday, 1 July 2017.

    Here's what our Jurors had to say after Day 3...

    Yarra Valley Water Citizens' Jury: Meeting 3 wrap up (video)

    Siyuan (Juror): "I got shocked by some information that I learnt from the process about how many people among the whole community that are in difficulty in paying the bills. There are 40 to 50 per cent, which is a really, really big number from my basic understanding. So we are here of course to find out a way to be representing these people and then to find out a way that we can get a balance between price and service to minimise the impact to the water bills."

    Louise (Juror): "Wow. Look, I've heard so many facts and so many little pieces of information that it has just astounded me. I have had very, very limited knowledge on water before starting this process, even the bills. I'm a tenant, so I've never seen half the costs that most people complain about. For me, that was quite eye-opening in itself."

    Anil (Juror): "I have been talking to family and friends, to colleagues about this process. They're all somewhat interested and there's been a lot of suggestions that I should put forward, mostly from my colleagues who have ideas of what needs to change. But again I'm trying to take out my own professional bias from my approach to this."

    REGISTER TO OBSERVE THE JURY

    Meeting 4: Saturday, 1 July 2017 at 9:15 am to 4:20 pm
    Meeting 5: Saturday, 22 July 2017 at 9:15 am to 4:20 pm
    The Box Hill Pavilion
    1155 Whitehorse Road
    Box Hill View Map



  • Bill Simulation Calculator - Try your own hand at balancing price and service

    6 months ago
    Capture2 %28002%29

    At the next meeting, the Jury will begin to consider service levels and understand the effect any changes may have on price. On page 19 of the Citizens' Jury Information Pack (download it here), we have provided the Jury with examples of opportunities to influence customer service levels and the bill.


    Our bill simulation calculator provides you with the opportunity to understand the choices the Jury face as they address their challenge:


    "We need to find the balance between price and service which is fair for everyone. How can we do this?"

    You can try your hand... Continue reading

    At the next meeting, the Jury will begin to consider service levels and understand the effect any changes may have on price. On page 19 of the Citizens' Jury Information Pack (download it here), we have provided the Jury with examples of opportunities to influence customer service levels and the bill.


    Our bill simulation calculator provides you with the opportunity to understand the choices the Jury face as they address their challenge:


    "We need to find the balance between price and service which is fair for everyone. How can we do this?"

    You can try your hand at balancing price and service too, by clicking on the link to our bill simulation calculator.


  • Here's what our Jury members had to say about their second day....

    6 months ago
    Img 0006 %282%29

    On Saturday, 3 June 2017, our Citizens' Jury met for their second full day. The Jury heard from six speakers who had been nominated and selected by our stakeholders to provide a broad range of information as the Jury deliberate over the issues that they're considering.

    • Professor Tony Wong (Director & Chief Executive – Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, Monash University)
    • Paul Byrne (Lead Director, Greenfields, Victorian Planning Authority)
    • Gavin Dufty (Manager Policy & Research, St Vincent de Paul Society)
    • David Heeps (former CEO Essential Services Commission)
    • Stephen Yarwood (Urban Futurist)
    • Professor Rob Skinner (Director and CEO, Monash Water for... Continue reading

    On Saturday, 3 June 2017, our Citizens' Jury met for their second full day. The Jury heard from six speakers who had been nominated and selected by our stakeholders to provide a broad range of information as the Jury deliberate over the issues that they're considering.

    • Professor Tony Wong (Director & Chief Executive – Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, Monash University)
    • Paul Byrne (Lead Director, Greenfields, Victorian Planning Authority)
    • Gavin Dufty (Manager Policy & Research, St Vincent de Paul Society)
    • David Heeps (former CEO Essential Services Commission)
    • Stephen Yarwood (Urban Futurist)
    • Professor Rob Skinner (Director and CEO, Monash Water for Liveability, Monash University)

    The Jury also spent time defining the criteria for Fair for Everyone which will guide them through their fourth and fifth days of deliberation. Next time the Jury meet, they will hear from six speakers who they have selected to fill the gaps they have identified in their knowledge relevant to addressing their challenge:

    "We need to find the balance between price and service which is fair for everyone.

    How can we do this?"


    We asked our Jurors how they felt about finding a balance between price and service, here's what they had to say...

    Rowan (Juror): "I think it's more of a juggling act. You can't really do one thing and then not have the impact on the other. If you want better service, the price is going to have to up. If you want better price, the service is going to have to suffer in some way. I think whether the balance is good at the moment is a hard thing to know, because honestly you need to look at everything."

    Veronica (Juror): "You listen, you read, but it's trying to retain all that information. But it's an interesting process, and I feel that we will eventually come to a conclusion."

    Faye (Juror): "I find that it's actually very hard thing. I thought it might be easy, but as we're going through the process, you've got to, I think open my mind to a lot more, a lot more areas, and everyone's perspective as to; how do we get it fair and just for the final result?"

    Yarra Valley Water Citizens' Jury: Meeting 2 wrap up (video)


    YOU CAN STILL REGISTER TO OBSERVE THE CITIZENS JURY IN ACTION