New pricing for non-residential customers
Why has Unitywater introduced a new pricing structure?
Unitywater inherited a complex set of fees and charges from six former council areas when it was established in 2010.
On 1 July 2013 we started phasing in a new, more consistent pricing structure for our customers throughout the Noosa, Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay regions.
More than 99.7% of customers have now moved to the new structure.
What’s different about the new pricing for businesses?
There is a consistent approach to charging for sewerage and water services for all Unitywater business customers under the new pricing structure.
Fixed access charges for sewerage and water are based on the number and size of the water meter(s) on the property and charges for each toilet have been scrapped (where these previously applied). A standard water meter is 25mm and higher charges apply for larger meters.
There is one tier for water usage and a sewerage usage charge, calculated as a percentage of water usage. The percentage is based on your property’s council land use code.
Is it possible to reduce the number and/or size of the water meter(s) on my property?
If your meter is larger than 25mm or you have more than one meter on your property, you may wish to engage a licensed hydraulic contractor or consultant to determine whether your metering arrangements are appropriate or if changes can be made.
Why is there only one tier for water usage for business customers?
We inherited many different fees and charges from councils and we’ve introduced a new, more consistent approach to pricing. This includes a single, standard charge per kilolitre for business customers.
However, we recognise that many households are facing cost of living pressures so we have maintained two tiers for water usage for residential customers.
What if I have several commercial properties – how am I charged?
The water usage charge per kilolitre is the same for every property but sewerage and water access charges depend on the size and number of the water meters on each property. The sewerage usage charge is based on the council land use code for each property.
Why is the sewerage usage percentage based on the property’s land use code?
Sewage includes everything that enters sinks, drains, is flushed down toilets and discharged from appliances such as dishwashers. Your sewerage usage is therefore directly linked to your water usage.
There are significant differences in the way businesses use water. For example, an office-based business would return almost all the water entering their property to the sewerage network, whereas a plant nursery would use much of its water outdoors.
The land use code provides an indication of the way water is used on the property.
What if I don’t agree with the land use code assigned to my property?
Your local council assigns the land use codes for properties in your region. You need to contact your council if you believe your land use code is incorrect.
What if I don’t agree with the percentage Unitywater is using to calculate my sewerage usage?
Most properties do not have meters to measure the volume of sewage entering the network, so we have applied a percentage based on the property’s land use code.
If you believe the percentage we are using to calculate sewerage usage on your property is too high, you can apply to have this reviewed. Please note, this process does incur a fee.
Is Unitywater making more money from the changes to pricing for business customers?
No. In fact we estimate the changes are costing Unitywater more than $1.3million in lost revenue each year at current consumption levels. We will continue to work hard to identify ongoing savings to cover this cost.
Will there be any change to the State Government Bulk Water charge?
No. This charge is set by the Queensland Competition Authority and is passed on at cost by Unitywater.
What can I do to lower my access charges?
You can contract a licensed plumber to complete a hydraulics review of your metering arrangements. A hydraulics review assesses a property’s water use requirements, to determine if the property can downsize to a smaller water meter, and therefore pay lower access charges. Should you be able to downsize your water meter(s) you will need to contact Unitywater and complete an application form. Please note, downsizing your water meter will incur a cost.
How can I make my sewerage and water bill smaller?
Reduce your water consumption or install water efficient appliances as this will help to minimise both sewerage and water usage charges on your account.