Free resource but paid service

Tariff setting

Water tariffs are determined based on the conditions stipulated in the concession agreement between the government of vanuatu and unelco, international good practices, the investment plan and the socio-economic priorities of the government.

The tariff components
∙ the base rate (po)
∙ the quarterly revision formula
∙ the tariffs applicable to the various consumers/levels of consumption
(expressed as a multiple of the reference tariff)


The base tariff is adjusted every quarter, based on the pre-determined revision formula, in order to take into account the actual evolution of the economic variables that impact the cost of the water system:
∙ the price of the electricity needed for pumping (27%)
∙ vanuatu general inflation (46%)
∙ the amount of investments and the cost of capital (27%)


Breakdown of costs - Water

The water resource is free, since it does not belong to anyone. But running & drinking water at home at all times is a service that generate a cost


The base tariff is adjusted every quarter, based on the pre-determined revision formula.

Download the last Water Rates

Facilitate access to clean drinking water for more people

Informations on the latest evolutions of the water concession contract
Signed between unelco and the government of vanuatu on july 20, 2018

Establishement of a new water development fund,
Applied on 1/09/2018

The government has established a water development fund to support its policy of providing access to drinking water for the greatest number of people.

This fund is endowed with a contribution of 5 vatu / m3 of water consumed, collected from all customers.

Unelco is in charge of collecting these money, which will be fully remitted to the government of vanuatu.

This fund will be used for integration into the improvement of the water systems of the outskirts of port vila, in the perime­ter of management of the public network.

New segmentation of subscription fees by water meter sizes,
applied on 1/12/2018

The government of vanuatu is reducing the subscription fee of small water meters and updating the subscription pricing policy to reflect the increasing size of water meters deployed (over 50 mm) on the public grid.

Average water prices in other Pacific islands

Making drinking water has a cost

In order to water to be delivered to the consumer/customer, it must first be searched, collected, purified then stocked. The price is determined by those various operations which relate to both Production and Distribution of a product which quality is …… When a subscriber pays his water bill, he then pays the necessary services for the supply of drinking water and not water itself.


Who fix the water rates?

Water tariffs are determined from the conditions stipulated in the Concession Agreement between the Government of Vanuatu and UNELCO, international good practice in tariff determination, the investment plan and the socio-economic priorities of the Government.

The Government and UNELCO undertake periodic tariff revisions, with a minimum tariff period of 5 years, except in certain exceptional cases provided for in the Concession Agreement.

The Public Utility Regulatory Authority (URA) may act on behalf of the Government in the tariff review process. In case of disagreement between the Government and UNELCO on the revision, the subject is referred to a specialized and neutral entity.

Details of the invoice

The choice of your rate depends on the size of your meter. The caliber of the meter that is determined during the connection. The choice of the type of subscription will determine your future invoice. It is therefore important to fill in the "Choosing your meter" questionnaire when requesting your new connection.

Our Commercial staff is at your disposal to estimate your needs and orient you towards the most appropriate type of contract.

The invoice is usually composed of 2 parts:

A counter rental proportional to the size of the meter. However, all subscribers whose quarterly consumption is less than 25m3 will benefit for the quarter of a subscription of 361 VUV (quarter 1 2017) for the rental of meter.

One per variable proportional to the number of m3 used between 2 periods of relief.

A consumption advance is payable upon signing the contract.

How rates are ajusted?

Once the basic tariff has been established, in accordance with the abovementioned rules, this tariff is adjusted every six months in order to take account of the evolution of the economic parameters affecting the costs of the water system, in particular the price of the electricity needed for pumping and the inflation suffered by the different types of costs. The discount formula was determined as part of the latest rate revision

How are the water bills established?

Quarterly invoices are drawn up in accordance with the provisions of the subscription policy and the concession contract. Except in the rare cases of temporary non-accessibility of a meter, the invoice is based on meter consumption index readings, the number of days between each relay, the applicable rate and the current VAT level.  

When is the water invoice due?

Water invoices are due on the 15th of the following month after the issue of the invoice