This is likely due to the new rate structure that went into effect in October 2017. Although the City reduced the standard minimum charge for water from $31.53 to $24 (based on standard 3/4 inches water meter), to do this and maintain the integrity of the water fund, the City also adjusted the volumetric tiers for water consumption - applying the wholesale increases from NTMWD primarily to the higher volumetric tiers to further incentivize conservation. Therefore the City acknowledges that higher users (above average) will likely pay more in volumetric charges under this new rate structure.
New Rate Structure’s Impact on Above Average Consumption
The table illustrates the changes in the tiers under the new rate structure. Note that those that use over 15,000 gallons now enter Tier 3 whereas previously Tier 3 kicked in at over 20,000 gallons.
|Usage Tier||2017||2018||Volumetric Rate 2018|
|Tier 1||1 to 10,000||1 to 10,000||$ 5.70 per 1,000 gallons|
|Tier 2||10,001 to 20,000||10,001 to 15,000||$ 8.99 per 1,000 gallons|
|Tier 3||20,001 to 60,000||15,001 to 50,000||$ 11.23 per 1,000 gallons|
|Tier 4||60,001 to 100,000||50,000 or More||$ 11.84 per 1,000 gallons|
|Tier 5||100,000 or More||N/A||N/A|
Example - 16,000 gallons
- 2017 (Tiers 1 to 2): Minimum Fee $31.53 plus Consumption Charge of $98.12 is $129.65
- 2018 (Tiers 1 to 3): Minimum Fee $24 plus Consumption Charge of $113.53 is $137.53
Although the minimum fee for water was reduced by $7.53 for all users, those that are above average consumers of water will enter the higher tiers (3 and 4) and therefore the total cost of water would end up higher for the same amount of water consumption due to the new rate tiers.
Don’t Get Caught off Guard to Avoid the Higher Tiers
The City has invested in tools to empower our customers to take control of their water usage. Customers who chose to conserve can maximize potential savings by signing up for WaterMyYard and following the weekly watering notifications which are based on truly local weather data. When you couple this information with the data that is available through the AMI system and the U2You portal, our customers can take control of the greatest impact on their water usage, outdoor watering, thus helping to avoid surprises in their bill.