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Water price rises capped below CPI

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Water prices in South Australia will be capped at below the Consumer Price Index, but households and businesses can still expect to see their bills rise.

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SA Water’s price adjustments for the 2022-23 financial year will be capped on average at 3.2 per cent – below inflation, which has increased by just over five per cent.

The government says this means the average metropolitan residential customer with a property value of $501,000 who uses 180 kilolitres of water would pay around $34 more on their combined water and sewerage bill.

If the price adjustment was held to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) that increase would be $54.

The average metropolitan business with a property value of $1.4 million which uses 834 kilolitres of water would pay $130 more on their water and sewerage bill – below the $208 increase that would have resulted if prices were held to CPI.

The Malinauskas government said the former government had determined that annual water price increases during 2020-24 would be limited to CPI.

Water Minister Susan Close said it was now “vital” that any increase was kept as low as possible given rising costs of living.

“SA Water’s prices consider a range of factors, including the cost to provide, sustain and enhance the delivery of water and sewerage services,” she said.

SA Water reported a 17.1 per cent decrease on median typical residential water and sewerage bills last financial year.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s most recent National Performance Report found SA Water’s annual residential combined water and sewerage bill was third cheapest in a list of 15 comparable-sized utilities.

A full schedule of SA Water’s fees and charges will be made available on its website.

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