New commercial water charges

16:00, Mar 12 2014

New volumetric wastewater charges are being introduced for commercial users across Auckland.

This follows similar charges already introduced by Watercare for residential users.

The residential charges caused controversy because of large bills based on water use that many customers considered unfair.

Commercial manager Marlon Bridge says the commercial charges will remove significant historical anomalies.

"Under the current wastewater charging system, identical businesses face significant differences in costs. This places some companies at a considerable commercial disadvantage," Mr Bridge says.

The changes were announced in May last year but the new rates will not take effect until July this year.


Mr Bridge says a three-year transition period gives business owners time to consider the likely effect on their operating costs and plan their response.

Watercare is writing to its commercial customers setting out what the changes would mean for them.

"While the changes will not generate more revenue for Watercare, and will dramatically reduce costs for some of our customers, we recognise that they will have a significant negative impact on some companies," Mr Bridge says.

"However, the current charging structure is unfair to those businesses which are effectively subsidising their competitors and does not always encourage the efficient use of what is a valuable resource."

The new system will see businesses placed in one of four pricing plans, based on wastewater volumes.

Volumes will be calculated as a percentage of water supplied, with different percentages applied to different industries.

Mr Bridge says customers who show the volume of wastewater discharged by their business is significantly different to the industry average can ask for an audit to be carried out with the aim of establishing a more accurate, tailored solution.

North Shore Times