Following the September 15, 2016 Public Hearing, the EOCWD Board of Directors approved the proposed rate change, effective October 16, 2016
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR RATES
The East Orange County Water District (EOCWD) Board of Directors will conduct a public hearing to consider a proposed schedule of increases and changes to the rates and charges for domestic water service provided to residential and commercial customers. If approved by the EOCWD Board of Directors, the increase would take effect on October 16, 2016, with subsequent increases proposed annually over the next four years.
The public hearing will be conducted at the time, date and location specified above.
All members of the public are invited to attend the public hearing.
This notice is being sent to all record owners of property upon which the proposed charges will be imposed and any tenants who are directly liable for the payment of such charges (i.e. customers of record who are not property owners). EOCWD is dedicated to keeping its customers informed throughout the process.
HOW ARE WATER BUDGETS CALCULATED?
Each customer is allocated a reasonable amount of water based on that customer’s particular needs. This allocation is referred to as a “water budget.” EOCWD’s residential water budgets are comprised of a fixed indoor and outdoor budget. The indoor budget ensures enough water to meet the indoor needs of four people (55 gallons per person, per day). If more than four people reside at a home, the indoor water budget can be easily increased by up to four additional people.
Outdoor water budgets are calculated using four factors: (1) the amount of irrigable area per parcel determined by aerial survey; (2) actual daily plant water loss (evapotranspiration); (3) a “plant factor” that reflects the water needs of (winter) grasses; and (4) the Drought Factor (currently 85%). Water budgets use satellite weather data to provide more water in summer months to ensure landscaping gets the water it needs.
HOW IS MY MONEY SPENT?
EOCWD is a fiscally conservative steward of its customers' ratepayer dollars and believes its customers should not only understand how their money is already being invested but also why the proposed rate increases are necessary and what the new revenue will fund moving forward.
The graphic below shows how each dollar generated by the proposed rate increase would address rising costs of providing you with safe, clean and reliable water.
UNDERSTANDING THE RATE INCREASE
Your water bill is comprised of two types of rates (charges) – fixed and volumetric. The fixed rate service charge does not vary from month to month. The volumetric commodity rate reflects the amount of water you use in a billing period. It also includes charges that are passed through to EOCWD from Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and/or Municipal Water District of Orange County. The chart below shows which costs are covered by each type of charge.
FIXED RATE: Capital Fee & Capital Replacement Fee
WHAT IT PAYS FOR:
Operation & Maintenance Costs: A portion of the costs to operate and maintain the domestic water system are allocated to the fixed rate as well as all overhead costs.
Capital Replacement Fee: These fees pay for improvement and/or replacement of capital facilities; they are fixed because they do not vary depending upon the amount of water used.
(Variable) VOLUMETRIC RATE: Water Charge
WHAT IT PAYS FOR:
These charges pay for the water and electricity used to deliver the water portion of the cost to operate and maintain the domestic water system.
Operation & Maintenance Costs: The remainder of the costs to operate and maintain the domestic water system used to deliver water to your home or business are allocated to the volumetric rate.
PASS THROUGH RATES
Even though the district has used its best information to project future increases by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Municipal Water District of Orange County and Orange County Water District, if they should adopt changes to their rates that are higher than what the district projected and included in these rates, the district may automatically make changes to include these increases without a further hearing process.
In the event that the State Water Resources Control Board and/or MWD/MWDOC requires mandatory water reductions, these charges will be applied to augment decreased water sales.
HOW WILL THIS IMPACT ME?
The following charts provide an example of how a typical single-family residence (SFR) water bill might look under two different scenarios. The first scenario reflects rates under non-drought conditions. The second scenario reflects rates during a Stage 1 Drought Emergency in which mandated water allocations and drought surcharges would apply.
WHY ARE NEW RATES BEING CONSIDERED?
EOCWD is a public agency whose rate setting is regulated by state law. The District may only charge its customers for the costs associated with providing water service. It cannot charge rates that result in a profit. EOCWD considers the following factors when determining its water rates:
EOCWD water rates have remained unchanged since 2013.
The most significant cost factors that affect EOCWD’s water rates include:
DROUGHT & STATE MANDATED CONSERVATION; WATER SCARCITY AND INCREASING REGULATIONS
While conservation is critical, a reduction in water sales also means less revenue to cover the costs involved in operating EOCWD’s water delivery system. The majority of these costs do not change regardless of how much water is delivered. EOCWD needs to increase the rates for its water service to ensure there is sufficient revenue to provide customers with the same level of service, reliability and high-quality water. Increasing costs for the water itself and more regulations are also affecting us.
DRINKING WATER SYSTEM OPERATION & MAINTENANCE (O&M); AND REPAIR & REPLACEMENT (R&R) Proactive upgrades and improvements to the water system are critical to service the 1,200 Retail Zone customers who depend on EOCWD for reliable water service every day. These upgrades also save money in the long run; according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, planned replacement of pipes is five times less expensive than fixing pipes once they break.
HOW DO DROUGHT PENALTIES IMPACT MY BILL?
EOCWD was mandated by the state of California to reduce district-wide water consumption by 36 percent during 2015. Local drought penalties were adopted by the District as a temporary tool aimed at facilitating customer water savings. The penalties apply to customers who consume quantities of water in excess of their preestablished monthly water budget. Any penalties collected are used to fund local water conservation and education programs.
To date, EOCWD has collected only $150 since the drought penalties were adopted by the EOCWD Board of Directors in July 2015. Our customers achieved the 36% cutback without having to levy many penalties. The District is proposing to adopt future drought rates. For more information, please see the Drought Rates listed below.