Friday, March 10, 2017

Water rates up, but down

By Kate Bouey - CASTANET Mar 9, 2017 / 10:47 am
Every drop of water Greater Vernon residents use this year will likely cost 3.7 per cent more. However residents are getting a small break on the base rate fee. The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee is recommending a complicated formula that will see commercial and industrial customers, including the hospital and brewery, pay more for water. Even cheap water for agriculture is going up 3.7 per cent. “We're realigning (rates) so everyone pays the same amount for water so that's a step in the right direction,” said director Bob Spiers following a meeting on Thursday. Spiers is pleased with a recommended change to the base rate from $95 to $90 per quarter – a $20 annual savings for small metered customers. “I'm happier this year than I was last year. We're moving in the right direction as far as covering our costs on the agriculture side and the idea that everyone should pay the same amount for each drop of water that they consume.” Spiers said he uses approximately 46 cu. metres of water per quarter and his bill should decrease by $13.48. If directors had chosen another option, his bill would have gone up by $14.00. GVAC chairperson Juliette Cunningham said the change could be an incentive for people to manage their consumption. “The impact could be quite minimal so it does help people to think about that, how they use their water,” Cunningham said. The changes must be approved by the North Okanagan Regional District board.
Don Quixote Note: The approval for these rates will be at t5e RDNO next board meeting. They will be effective April 1, 2017 and will appear on your 2nd Quarter bill. (June 30).

When the water budget was approved a month ago there was to be a 3.7% rate increase across the board. This would have meant that the $95.00 Quarterly base fee would have increased to $98.52 (an increase of $14.08 annually).

It was decided that the base fee should reflect the water meter size and there are different base rates dependent on your meter size. There are now 3 meter sized base rates. The smallest meter size which is for most residential customers and most of the small businesses was reduced to $90 per quarter (resulting savings of $20 annually for most customers. )

 The other major change is that all ICI (Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Customers) now pay for their consumption at the same rates as Residential clients. The rates for each level of consumption was raised by 3.7% over the 2016 rates.
 Link to a residential calculator where you can put in your quarterly consumption amount (in m3) and see how these new rates will effect you. (in my case my 46m3 quarterly consumption will result in an annual reduction of $13.48.)

Try the Beta calculator and estimate your saving or increase.

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