Setting water prices

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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:

  • Sydney Water and its bulk water suppliers, WaterNSW and Sydney Desalination Plant
  • Hunter Water
  • Gosford Council and Wyong Council (now the Central Coast Council)
  • Essential Energy (for Broken Hill)
In other rural and regional areas IPART sets the prices charged by WaterNSW and the Water Administration Ministerial Corporation.
When we review water prices we consider a range of matters, including: 
  • the cost of providing the service
  • consumer protection against abuse of monopoly power by a water utility
  • the need to promote competition in the supply of the service
  • the need for greater efficiency in the supply of the service to reduce costs to consumers and taxpayers
  • appropriate rates of return on public sector assets
  • the social impact of our determinations
  • the need to maintain ecologically sustainable development and protect the environment. 

Recycled water pricing

In 2006, IPART established a framework to regulate prices paid by recycled water customers.   Where there is evidence that other customers will avoid costs as a result of a recycling scheme, the utility can apply to include these costs in water and wastewater prices.  See IPART’s Final Report and Fact Sheet.
We have developed guidelines explaining how we assess the avoided costs of recycled water schemes and the information that must be collected by utilities.


Wholesale water and sewerage pricing

In 2017, IPART completed its review of the prices Sydney Water and Hunter Water can charge for wholesale water and sewerage services.  See IPART’s Final Report and Fact Sheet.

Our regulatory framework for wholesale prices includes:

  • system-wide prices for new schemes without a recycled water plant
  • scheme-specific price reviews, and
  • unregulated pricing agreements. 

A wholesale customer or wholesale service provider may request that IPART set scheme-specific prices by undertaking a scheme-specific review.

We have developed a request form and accompanying guideline to support wholesale customers and wholesale service providers prepare for, request and participate in a scheme-specific review.  

Request form for scheme-specific price 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 to discuss your request.

Request form for scheme-specific price review

Attachment A to request form - Inputs for section 4.2  

Guideline for scheme-specific price review requests

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

Have Your Say
IPART routinely seeks public input into our reviews via submissions, public hearings, stakeholder workshops and community surveys.
View all reviews open for submissions