General billing

What charges are on my bill?

 

How are charges calculated and applied to my bill?

 

Is charging based on average daily usage fair?

 

Why has Unitywater increased the price of recycled water?

 

Why has Unitywater changed trade waste charges?

 

Why has Unitywater increased the price of potable water from metered hydrant standpipes?

 

Why do I have to pay fixed water and sewerage access charges if my property is vacant land or I have no connection or use of these services?

 

Why are prices different between regions?

 

What is the return paid to owner councils?

 

 What charges are on my bill?

There are five types of charges on your bill, displayed under the following headings:

State Government Bulk Water price:

1. State Government Bulk Water Charge (charged per kilolitre of water used): The price of the State Government Bulk Water is set by the State Government. Unitywater purchases the water from the State Government and passes this onto our customers at cost. We have no control over this pricing. If you would like more information about the State Government Bulk Water charge, please visit the Department of Energy and Water Supply

 

Local Government distributor-retailer price – These are Unitywater charges:

2.  Water Usage Charge (charged per kilolitre of water used): This is Unitywater’s charge for storing, transporting and maintaining drinking quality water after we buy it from the State Government; issuing and managing customer accounts; and providing a 24-hour emergency response service. These charges are tiered. If your average daily usage is up to 822 litres per day you will only pay the Tier 1 charge; and for amounts over 822 litres per day, you will be charged at Tier2. So high water users pay a little more.

Your total water usage charge = State Govt Bulk Water + Unitywater Water Usage Charges

3. Sewerage Usage Charge (charged per kilolitre): This is the charge for collecting, treating and disposing of your sewage (waste and greywater) via our sewerage network of pipes, pumps and sewage treatment plants.

  • For residential customers, the sewerage usage charge is calculated as being 90% of the water that enters your property through your water meter, capped at 740 litres per day. 
  • For non-residential customers, it is calculated as being a percentage of the property's metered water usage, based on the property's land use code under the local government planning scheme. The sewerage usage charge is not capped for non-residential customers - it is tiered, so the more you use, the more you pay.

4. Water Access Charge (fixed, annual fee charged at a daily rate for the same time period as your water usage): This is the charge for your property having access (connected or unconnected) to the water supply network. It pays for building, maintaining and replacing water mains, pipes, pump stations, reservoirs, hydrants and other water supply infrastructure.

5. Sewerage Access Charge (fixed, annual fee charged at a daily rate for the same time period as your water usage): This is the charge for your property having access (connected or unconnected) to the sewerage network. It pays for building, maintaining and replacing sewer pipes, sewage pump stations, sewage treatment plants and other sewerage infrastructure.

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How are these charges calculated and applied to my bill?

Water usage charges are charged ‘in arrears’, based on how much water you have used between your most recent water meter readings. 

Sewerage usage charges for residential customers is calculated as being 90% of the water that enters your property through your water meter, capped at 740 litres per day. For non-residential customers, it is calculated as being a percentage of the property's metered water usage, based on the property's land use code under the local government planning scheme. The sewerage usage charge is not capped for non-residential customers - it is tiered, so the more you use, the more you pay.

When your water and sewerage usage period falls over two financial years:

  • your average daily usage up to 30 June is charged at the previous financial year’s prices; and
  • your average daily usage from 1 July is charged at the current financial year’s prices.

Water and sewerage access charges are fixed, annual fees charged 'in arrears' at a daily rate for the same time period as your water usage.

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Is charging based on average daily usage fair if I have used more water in the previous financial year than I have in the new financial year?

Due to the large number of water meters in Unitywater's service area, we are unable to read everyone’s meter on the first day of the new financial year to find out exactly how much water they used in the previous financial year. Therefore, the fairest and most equitable way to charge water usage is to use the average daily usage. The use of average daily amounts is a standard way of applying a price increase. If we did not do it this way, our only option would be to charge all of your water usage at the higher rate for your entire water usage period, which would not be fair to you.

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Why has Unitywater increased the price of recycled water?

The price change to recycled water will allow Unitywater to cover the costs associated with producing recycled water. Unitywater’s price for recycled water remains lower than other utilities in south-east Queensland. 

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Why has Unitywater changed trade waste charges?

Unitywater is streamlining its trade waste processes to ensure a consistent approach of its management and pricing across the Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast and Noosa regions. This will standardise fees, charges, categories, permits and approval processes for our trade waste customers and place a greater emphasis on user pays.

The move towards standardised pricing means that some customers will have a decrease in charges for this financial year, whilst others will experience an increase. To minimise the impact on our customers, we have taken a phased-in approach to changing our prices. 

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Why has Unitywater increased the price of potable water from metered hydrant standpipes?

The increase in potable water from these fixed fill locations is primarily due to the increase in the State Government’s Bulk Water prices. 

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Why do I have to pay sewerage and water access charges if my property is vacant land or I have no connection or use of these services?

Sewerage and water access charges are set prices per year applied to properties with access (connected or unconnected) to the sewerage and water network. They pay for the cost of building, maintaining and replacing the pipes, pumps and other infrastructure that delivers these services, and for collecting, transporting and treating sewage.

As with all critical public infrastructure (transport, telecommunications, health), it is important for all members of the community to contribute to the development and upkeep of this infrastructure, so that everyone can have the benefit of it now and in the future. Unitywater charges access fees in accordance with the The Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 (sections 164 and 165), which states that Unitywater must provide access to the sewerage and water network to every property in its service area, and may recover the cost of this from the customer:

164. Access to service in service area
(1) The service provider must, to the greatest practicable extent, ensure that—
(a) all premises in the service area are able to be connected directly and separately to the service provider’s infrastructure for the area

165. Recovering cost of giving access to registered service
The service provider may recover from a customer the reasonable cost of complying with section 164 for the customer’s premises.

This legislation dictates that Unitywater must provide a sewerage and water network to every property in the service area. It does not require that properties are connected, but only that properties are ‘able to be connected’ to the infrastructure.  Access charges are therefore applicable to all vacant and improved properties within the Unitywater service area. 

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Why are access fees different between Moreton Bay and the Sunshine Coast regions?

This is due to the difference in the level of investment and value of assets in each region and the different fees and charges that existed under the previous councils. Under the new structure, we have standardised sewerage and water usage charges.

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What is the return paid to the owner councils and how is this calculated? 

The three councils are entitled to participate in returns generated from the provision of water supply and sewerage services. Details of this can be found in the Participation Agreement. 

Like the retail price for water, returns to the councils are highly regulated. This information is available in Unitywater’s annual report.

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How often and when are bills issued?

 

Why aren’t my quarterly bills exactly 90 days or three months apart?

 

What is the due date for payment?

 

Will I get charged interest?

 

What if my postal address is incorrect?

 

How often and when are bills issued?

Quarterly.

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Why aren’t my quarterly bills exactly 90 days or three months apart?

While we try to bill you on the same date in each quarter, this is affected by factors such as weather delays to meter reading and not issuing bills on the weekend. This means the billing period on your bill varies, however it is usually between 85-95 days.

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What is the due date for paying my bill?

Payment is due within 30 days of the date your bill is issued.

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Will I get charged interest on late payments?

Interest charges of 11% per annum, compounding daily, will apply to any outstanding balance after the due date on your bill. Any interest charges will appear on your next bill.

We have a range of payment options and plans to help you pay your bill, including special arrangements for customers experiencing financial hardship.

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 What if my postal address is incorrect?

You can update your address using My Account. Alternatively, submit a change of address form or contact us to let us know.

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How can I pay my Unitywater Bill?

 

When do I need to send in my Direct Debit Request form?

 

How do I know if my direct debit has been set up?

 

Are my direct debit payments listed on my bill?

 

What happens if my monthly/fortnightly direct debit payments are not sufficient to cover the full amount due on my bill? 

 

I'm having trouble paying my bill. What should I do?

 

Do I need to set up a new payment plan?

 

What if I am unable to pay an instalment?

 

How can I pay my Unitywater Bill?

See our convenient payment options.

PLEASE NOTE: To enhance customers' data security, we are no longer accepting credit card details on our forms. Read our Frequently Asked Questions here

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When do I need to send in my Direct Debit Request form in order to pay my bill by direct debit?

Ten working days prior to the due date on the bill. Find out more about direct debit.

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How do I know if my direct debit has been set up for the payment of my bill?

Once set up you will receive a confirmation letter from us. You should also see confirmation of your direct debit arrangement on your bill and in My Account.

If you have submitted a direct debit form, but you have not received a confirmation letter or a notification on your bill, please contact us.

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Are my direct debit payments listed on my bill?

Yes, your direct debit payments are listed on Page 2 of your Unitywater Bill and in My Account.

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What happens if my monthly/fortnightly direct debit payments are not sufficient to cover the full amount due on my bill?

If your monthly or fortnightly direct debit payments are not sufficient to cover the full amount due on your bill, you will be required to pay the balance by the due date; otherwise you will receive a Reminder Notice and be charged interest of 11% per annum, compounding daily, on the overdue amount.

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I’m having trouble paying my bill. What should I do?

We offer a range of payment plans to eligible customers, including those who are experiencing financial hardship. Just call us before the bill due date and we will work with you to arrange a payment plan to suit your needs.

Type of payment plan Eligibility criteria

Ongoing Even Payments

ATP is established and the customer makes ongoing part payments as set by the plan. Payments can be made by any method including direct debit

No outstanding balance.

Ongoing Balance on Due Date by Direct Debit

ATP is established and the customer makes ongoing part payments as set by the plan. Payments are made by direct debit.

No outstanding balance.

Overdue Debt

Part payments to pay off the outstanding balance before the end of the billing period.

You are required to make a formal agreement to participate in this payment plan in order to avoid standard debt recovery action being taken to recover the overdue amount.

Any amount outstanding after the due date will attract interest which is currently set ay 11%pa compounding daily.

Any balance outstanding from the previous bill/s at the time arrangement is made will attract interest until paid.

You may have an outstanding balance and must have less than two dishonoured payments in the past six months.

Overdue Debt Plus Current Balance

Part payments to cover overdue charges plus the expected charges on the next bill before it is due.

Under this typical arrangement to pay, you will pay twice the amount of their most recent account before the end of the quarterly billing period. Please note that water consumption may vary each billing period and this will affect the amount of the bill.

You are required to make a formal agreement to participate in this payment plan in order to avoid standard debt recovery action being taken to recover the overdue amount.

Any amount outstanding after the due date attracts interest - currently set at 11%pa compounding on a daily basis.

You may have an outstanding balance and must have less than two dishonoured payments in the past six months.

One-Off Payment

A single payment to cover the outstanding balance before the next billing period.

You are required to make a formal agreement to participate in this payment plan in order to avoid standard debt recovery action being taken.

You may have an outstanding balance and must have less than two dishonoured payments in the past six months.

Hardship Instalment Plan

Arrangement to pay is established on a case by case basis. The aim is to cover arrears and estimated future charges.

You will not be charged interest on the arrears unless they fail to pay an instalment plan as agreed.

If you fail to pay an instalment amount, Unitywater may charge interest on the arrears amount.

View our Credit Management Policy (PDF) for details. Considerations include:

  • loss of employment
  • separation or other family breakdown
  • death in family
  • illness including physical incapacity, hospitalisation or mental illness.
  • natural disaster
  • low or fixed income insufficient to pay reasonable and normal living expenses.

Smoothpay

We estimate of the total amount required to cover your bills for the next 12 months, based on your bill history, then divide this into fortnightly or monthly instalment amounts.

You can pay your instalments by using any of the convenient payment options listed on your bill.

No outstanding balance.

 

To find out more about our payment plans, please contact us.

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Do I need to set up a new payment plan for a new bill?

Yes, you will need to contact us to set up a new payment plan for each new bill. Payment plans are only valid for one bill. Please submit an online request form or contact us.

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What if I am unable to pay an instalment?

Call us as soon as you are aware that you are not able to meet your payment. If we do not hear from you and you fail to make payments as arranged, your payment plan will be broken and normal debt collection activity will begin.

Please view the Unitywater code of practice on debt and restriction of water flow (PDF) for more information.

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    Did You Know
  • A garden hose can use 15 litres of water per minute. That's 150 litres of water in just 10 minutes!