The South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) cautiously welcomes the decision by ESCOSA to deliver savings for SA Water consumers in its Draft Decision but urges the Commission to go further.
“The Regulator’s Draft Decision is a welcome step in the right direction. Under this Decision, consumers can look forward to lower water bills which will be a huge relief from the high prices South Australian consumers currently pay”, said Ross Womersley, SACOSS Executive Director.
“The regulator is being positive in its response to SA Water’s improved productivity and efficiency. We commend ESCOSA for providing the right incentives for this efficiency. However, SACOSS still believes there are more savings to be had, particularly around the calculation of the cost of debt.
“In our submission to the regulator, SACOSS raised the issue of the potential for a $225 million windfall for SA Water under its proposed approach to setting the cost of debt. We are very concerned that the regulator has supported this approach in its Draft Decision.
“SACOSS intends to maintain our call for a transitional rather than immediate introduction to the new method for setting the cost of debt. SACOSS estimates this transitional approach will deliver around $80m in savings in the first year compared to what is being proposed by the regulator.
“SACOSS intends to closely review the ESCOSA Draft Decision and provide further scrutiny on the capital and operating revenue being considered.
“SACOSS is also are aware of the importance of the next phase once the determination is finalised and SA Water then decides how to recover its revenue through its pricing structure. We look forward to working closely with SA Water on this.
Please note that Ross Womersley is interstate and will be unavailable for TV interviews today.
For more information and comment, contact
Tania Baxter (Communications Officer): 8305 4227 or 0432 902 105
Ross Womersley (Executive Director): 0418 805 426