In most parts of NSW customers have no choice about who supplies their water. Our role is to independently set prices for water to reflect the efficient cost of providing services and ensure fair prices for customers.
In Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Illawarra, the Hunter, Central Coast and Broken Hill we set the prices charged by:
IPART has established a pricing framework for public water utilities’ recycled water schemes. We allow the costs of a public utility’s recycled water scheme to be recovered from general water and/or sewerage prices to its broader customer base when:
Any residual costs of the recycled water scheme are then recovered from recycled water customers up to their willingness to pay and/or from developers via recycled water developer charges, subject IPART’s pricing principles and developer charges determination.
Our framework recognises the system-wide benefits of recycled water, and ensures that recycling will be viable where the benefits it creates for customers exceeds its costs. This provides incentives to get the right solutions in place to meet the demands of customers and the broader community. See IPART’s Final Report, Fact Sheet and Stakeholder update.
In NSW, private water businesses have entered the market under the Water Industry Competition Act to provide and sell recycled water services and on-sell ‘wholesale’ water and wastewater services they purchase from public water utilities such as Sydney Water and Hunter Water.
In 2017, IPART completed its review of the regulatory and pricing approach for Sydney Water and Hunter Water’s wholesale water and wastewater services to such private water businesses. See IPART’s Final Report, Fact Sheet and wholesale pricing webpage.
As part of this review, IPART did not set a price for the ‘wholesale’ water and wastewater services Sydney Water or Hunter Water provides to privately owned on-sellers who operate recycled water plants. Rather, Sydney Water or Hunter Water and the private water businesses can negotiate prices that best reflect the costs and benefits of each scheme. IPART will only set a price if the parties can't reach agreement and one of them asks us to determine prices via a scheme-specific review.
If we were asked to set Sydney Water’s (or Hunter Water’s) wholesale prices to an on-seller with a recycled water plant, we would discount prices to reflect the net benefits that the recycling scheme provides to Sydney Water’s broader customer base (for example, if it reduced the need for Sydney Water to invest in sewage treatment). We would also ensure the wholesale services provided to the on-seller are priced in a way that does not unreasonably add to the prices paid by Sydney Water’s other customers.
We have developed a request form and accompanying guide to support wholesale customers and wholesale service providers prepare for, request and participate in a scheme-specific review.
Complete the request form if you are a wholesale customer or wholesale service provider and wish to request that IPART undertake a scheme-specific review to determine a price for a wholesale service(s).
If you are considering requesting a scheme-specific review, we recommend you contact the Water Pricing Team at IPART on 9290 8400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your request.
Request form for scheme-specific price review
Attachment A to request form - Inputs for section 4.2
The guideline provides an outline of the process for a scheme-specific review. It also outlines what a scheme-specific price review involves and explains the general principles and approach we would use to undertake a scheme-specific review.
Guideline for scheme-specific price review requests