Who would think we are in the driest state of the driest country?
I just received my latest bi-monthly Water Corp bill, and they clearly think we are not using enough of the precious stuff. My water consumption charges are $7.93, and while we are careful with our water consumption we still run appliances such as a dishwasher and washing machine, we have a garden, which gets watered, and I sometimes indulge in a bath. All that for less than $5 a month. The other side of the coin is that I paid $100.89 for the privilege of being able to consume $8 worth of water, in the form of service charges. Come on Water Corp, if you are serious about offering some sort of social equity the cost of being connected to your service should be significantly less, whilst at the same time if you are serious about conserving water why are your consumption charges not significantly higher? Lets be clear, I am not complaining about being asked to pay $108.82, I am complaining about the total lack of any incentive to save water whilst at the same time slugging customers a huge connection fee.
In contrast to that, on the same day I received a Synergy Bill for the same period, there is NO service charges. For those of us with renewable energy such as PV this is a great arrangement, but not very equitable because about half of the power tariff actually goes to maintain the distribution network, to which I pay nothing. The State Government wants to sell our power utilities, imagine if Water Corp bought them, I would suddenly be slugged with a bi-monthly $100 service charge. You may well scoff at the concept of Water Corp buying Western Power and Synergy, BUT the people that tender for Western Power will only do so if the bills are split into consumption charges and service charges and they get paid for the infrastructure they intend to invest in.
For those of us with PV, the day they are sold off will be a very expensive day.