Water bill hikes not so severe in the Illawarra

Illawarra residents' water bills won't rise as sharply as a number of other regions, according to figures from the NSW pricing regulator.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal on Tuesday released a fact sheet that details water bills for the five areas for which it sets fees - Sydney Water, which includes the Illawarra, and those in the Hunter, Gosford, Wyong and Broken Hill.

IPART had previously set the maximum price rises for all these areas, which come into place on July 1 each year.

In the case of Sydney Water, IPART determined its maximum prices in 2012 for the period leading up to 2016.

For the latest round of price rises, which kicked in this month, IPART compared the typical weekly bill for someone in a house using 200 kilolitres of water a year.

In the Illawarra the weekly rise would be just 44¢. In Wyong and the Hunter it would be 54¢ and 58¢.

The Gosford bill would rise by $1.39 and in Broken Hill by $1.60 a week.

Over the course of a year, the Illawarra bill would total $1153, a 2 per cent rise from last year.

Gosford and Broken Hill saw the biggest increases - of 6.4 and 7.7 per cent respectively.

The relatively small rise in the water bill looks even better when compared to gas prices.

According to IPART, gas prices will rise by around 17 per cent over the next two years, even with the axing of the carbon tax.

Following the NSW government's deregulation of the electricity market, IPART no longer sets prices.

Premier Mike Baird has claimed that this would lead to an immediate drop in electricity prices of 1.5 per cent. However, those on market-based contracts have seen their bill rise more than that.

A spokeswoman for IPART said the fact sheet was meant to inform residents about the price changes.

She cautioned against making comparisons on water prices between the five areas because they were subject to variables.

The five determinations depended on factors such as the state of infrastructure and the cost of supplying service, she said.

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