2018 Utility Rates
On December 11, 2017, Council approved utility budgets for 2018 that will affect your quarterly utility rates.
On July 10, 2017, Council also approved changes to the utility rate structure for 2018.
The new rates and rate structure come into effect on January 1, 2018. You will notice the changes on your first quarter utility bill that arrives in late April 2018.
These important changes to the utility rates and structure are the result of a rate review study completed in 2017.
Utility rate changes for 2018
Council has approved an overall 10% increase in revenue required for the water utility and 10.1% increase to revenue required for the sewer and drainage utility for 2018.
Contributing factors to the 2018 rate increases include the need to rebuild the financial reserves in the water utility that were depleted during the 2015 drought, and anticipated future regional costs to the sewer utility associated with construction of the new North Shore Waste Water Treatment Plant.
Learn more about the North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant.
New 2019 rates will reflect the following changes:
- 10% increase in revenue required for water
- 10% increase in revenue required for sewer (this reflects an 8% increase to our local portion, but a 17.2% increase to our regional portion due to the costs for the North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant project)
In Solid Waste, utility rates for garbage and organics as well as public realm waste collection will remain the same, except for a small decrease to the residential recycling charge.
Council approved changes to leak adjustment provisions in the Waterworks Regulation Bylaw to encourage residents to repair leaks promptly. The District has long emphasized water conservation and stressed that it is the responsibility of residents to maintain plumbing in good, working order. These changes reaffirm the District's commitment to the conservation of drinking water.
The actual impact of new rates on each household will depend on the household's metered water consumption.
- anticipated median water bill increase of $63 to $693 annually (10%)
- anticipated median sewer bill increase of $103 to $1,041 annually (10%)
- residential recycling charge will decrease by $1.50 annually
On July 10, 2017, Council approved the following changes to the Utility Rate structure for 2018:
- Sewer rate structure: New separate line items for regional costs and local costs to improve transparency
- Water rate structure: Move to a four-block rate structure for single family households from a three-block. The new base block (0-30 cubic metres) provides a new tool to reward residential conservation while continuing to cover costs in the water utility. The metered water rate structure for multi-family residential or commercial customers will not change.
Council approved adjustments to the utility rate structure based on recommendations resulting from the rate study and anticipated rate increases for 2018.
By making this change in advance, the District created a buffer that will help reduce the overall increase to your bill. The new structure benefits all residents but provides the most reward to households that use less water.
The updated structure will also provide greater transparency for customers.
West Vancouver began a review of its model for determining utility rates in fall 2016.
The model was originally established in 2007 when universal water metering came into effect. Water metering improves customer equity, promotes water conservation and has helped detect leaks in the system. The model was based on best practices from other municipalities and the information available at that time about costs to maintain our community's water and sewer infrastructure.
After nearly ten years of collecting meter data, we have more information about local consumption and a much better understanding of the lifecycle and replacement needs of the associated infrastructure.
The 2017 rate review has verified that West Vancouver rate model is largely sound, but recommended small adjustments to the rate structure to meet West Vancouver's needs today.
Goals of the study
- Update economic & conservation assumptions using local data
- Ensure sustainable funding & responsible asset management
- Maintain customer equity and encourage water conservation
- Help plan for costs associated with new North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant
- Research and review formula for rates
- Share findings with residents in fall 2017
- Council to approve rates by December 13, 2017
- Implement rate changes on January 1, 2018