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Budget based rates are a billing structure designed to consider the unique water needs of each customer, and to allow the lowest cost water to be utilized for essential use indoors. Efficient outdoor use would be allocated water at the next lowest cost, with inefficient water use assigned the highest rate, ultimately rewarding customers that use water efficiently.
EVWD is considering a budget-tiered rate structure for its customers for a number of reasons. The rate structure and higher base charge helps strengthen financial stability, by making revenue more stable. If implemented, the new rate structure would allow EVWD to provide personalized, fair and accurate water budgets to all customers, while making sure that the district is financially stable. Customers would pay the lowest rates for the water they need and slightly higher rates for excess water they choose to use.
• Western Municipal WD
• Eastern Municipal WD
• Rancho California WD
• Las Virgenes WD
• El Toro WD
• City of Corona
• Elsinore Valley Water District
• Coachella Valley Water District
• San Juan Capistrano
• Irvine Ranch Water District
• Palmdale Water District
Many more agencies in California are looking to transition to Budget Based Rates in the future.
East Valley Water District is a not for profit government agency. We operate as a Special District as allowed within the California Water Code. As a rate based organization that receives no property tax revenue, we may only charge our customers for the actual cost of providing their service. The complete rate analysis report is available on our website to show the justification for the proposed rate structure and rates. It explains daily operational costs, large capital improvement costs, and the need to increase emergency reserves.
Before the tiers were established, the District reviewed and grouped operating expenses. After reviewing these costs, it was determined that three tiers were needed because the District has three sources of water, each with different costs associated with use. General operating costs were applied proportionately to each tier.
The rate structure has been designed so that the District is not dependent on Tier 3 revenue for operational stability. Beyond the actual cost of delivering Tier 3 water, revenue from this tier will be used to expand our water conservation programs and increase system efficiencies. We will work hard to help our customers that are using water in Tier 3 to become more efficient, so they can reduce or eliminate the use of this most expensive water.
East Valley Water District is a not for profit government agency, and is required by Proposition 218 to equitably pass our costs along to our customers. At this time we are not allowed to implement an income assistance program, but should the legislation allow an agency like ours to develop one we will be sure to reach out to our customers.
In the meantime we have a variety of water conservation programs in place that can identify opportunities for efficiency both inside and outside of the home.
Each customer is assigned a unique monthly water budget for both indoor and outdoor. This budget incorporates a number of factors including: people living at the residence; total square footage of landscaping; and weather.
Each billing unit is equal to 748 gallons.
The indoor budget includes 60 gallons per person per day, which is consistent with daily indoor use identified in the recent Water Master Plan Update. The State of California has identified 55 gallons per person per day as the benchmark for efficient use, so the District’s customers will have a slightly larger budget
This individual use is multiplied by the household size, which currently has a default of 4 persons per household. The household number of residents was determined based on local 2010 Census data, which found that local single family residences have an average of 3.3 people, and multi-family residences have an average of 3.6 people.
This is then multiplied by the number of service days in the month to arrive at a total indoor budget. If emergency water shortage conditions exist, the District could adjust the allocation with a drought factor, if needed.
East Valley Water District reviewed public records from the 2010 Census, which concluded that each single-family household has an average of 3.3 people and each multi-family residence has an average of 3.6. Based on this information, a default household size of 4 has been set for all residential customers. If there are more than 4 people living in a household, the customer can simply contact the District to update this information and receive the appropriate budget allocation.
Yes, customers can update their household number by contacting the East Valley Water District Customer Service Department.
In order to accurately calculate an outdoor water budget, EVWD utilized high resolution aerial images and specialized Geographic Information System (GIS) software to measure the irrigated area of every property in the service area. The aerial photography process is very similar to technology used for Google Earth.
The second component to calculating outdoor allocations is measuring the weather. Multiple weather stations in the area would be used to gather Evapotranspiration (ETo) rates to determine how much water is needed to efficiently water a yard.
As with indoor budgets, should a water emergency situation occur, the District could implement a drought factor to reduce outdoor water allocations if necessary.
Outdoor budgets are typically calculated using the size of the individualized irrigated area, the ETo and days of service.
Outdoor water budgets take actual irrigated area and weather into consideration each month. This means that outdoor water budgets increase during warm months and decrease during cool months. Each month’s allocation is designed to meet the water needs for that period.
Each property has its own unique water budget with an allocation for indoor use and outdoor use. The household with more people will require more water for indoor use. Properties with more landscaping will require water for efficient irrigation. Budget based rates allow for an equitable system that considers each customer’s needs.
Water that is used beyond the indoor and outdoor budget will be charged at the Tier 3 rate. While there is no limit on the amount of water a customer can use, the District strongly encourages customers to use this precious resource efficiently.
Because water budget rates are designed to look at the needs on a monthly basis, there is no need to rollover unused water budget. However, if a customer uses water efficiently they will be charged their indoor budget amount first, then outdoor allocation second. If the full water budget is not used, customers will not incur any Tier 3 charges.
No, customers will only be charged for the actual water used. The water budget have been designed based on a variety of factors, but customers have the ability to be even more efficient than the budget estimates.
The District offers limited account variances including licensed care facilities, documented medical needs, household size beyond the default, swimming pools, and horses.
This District offers a once a year leak variance. This an opportunity for customers to identify and repair major leaks on their property that resulted in Tier 3 billing. If this takes place, customers can fill out a Leak Variance Request Form and include documentation of the repair. Then customer service can credit the account for the difference between Tier 2 and Tier 2 pricing.
No. The District hired a third party financial firm to evaluate the cost impact of the headquarters beginning in Fiscal Year 2013-14. At that time, it was determined that the cost impact of the headquarters would not require rate increases. If identified as a separate item on the utility bill, each customer’s portion of the headquarters cost would be $1 per month.
East Valley Water District recently constructed a new headquarters campus for $15.5 million. It consolidated District staff from three separate locations, increasing operational efficiencies and saving over $200,000 a year in facility lease expenses. Additionally, the District welcomes community groups and members of the public to use the facility for their events, creating an added benefit for the area.