The goal of the new rate structure is to stabilize utility revenues and maintain a rate and fee structure that is fair and equitable. It was officially adopted by City Council on February 28, 2011.
Rate Structure Changes
- The addition of availability fees for all water and sewer accounts. These fees recover a target of 20 percent of annual debt service costs and enhance revenue stability. The fees are based on water meter size.
- Lowering the single family residential sewer cap (limit on sewer usage charges in a single billing period), and transitioning to a winter average consumption methodology for sewer usage charges.
- Adding financial incentives to install separate irrigation meters.
- Changing one of the testing parameters used to assess industrial wastewater surcharges for regulated industrial/commercial customers.
These changes will occur across two different fiscal years. Beginning July 1, 2011 the availability fees go into effect and the sewer cap will be lowered from 24 Ccf to 16 Ccf. Measurement for winter consumption is planned for the winter of 2011-2012 with changes to the bill occurring July 1, 2012. More information on this process will be available in the coming months.
The irrigation meter incentives include waiving the capacity fee and allowing the connection fee to be paid over 12 installments. For more information on connection and capacity fees, visit the New Connections part of our website.
For more information about the changes and their impacts on particular bill types, please view The Approved Rate Methodology Changes (PDF). Click here to see Details and Customer Bill Examples.
The need for a comprehensive water and sewer rate study was identified in the spring of 2010 following years of evolving water and sewer rate structure changes, volatile weather patterns that affected water usage and revenues, public concerns about rate equity, and the consideration of environmental and economic sustainability associated with water and sewer rates.
The first comprehensive rate and fee methodology study since Utilities was formed and the rates/fee schedule was established in the 1970s, the Rate Structure Study included public meetings, input and a stakeholder advisory group that helped develop the new structure.
After several months of public input, City Council approved the changes in February 2011. The rate structure changes, along with new tier rates, go into effect July 1, 2011.