The city released its proposed new water rate structure Monday and it could mean a small increase to your bill.
The structure would add a flat connection fee to your bill on top of the existing rate based on water usage. It would also break the sewer surcharge into two items: a fixed-and-variable rate sewer fee and a fixed-rate stormwater fee.
City staff say the change is needed because while water consumption keeps going down, infrastructure costs keep going up.
In a memo, Environment Committee chair David Chernushenko said 85 per cent of Ottawa households would see either no change, an increase or a decrease of less than $2 to their bills. However, he wrote households with low water use would see an increase.
“No system is perfect, however, and the proposed new rate structure will have an impact on some households. For those homes that already keep their water consumption at a minimum, paying a fixed charge will be a change, and those water bills will increase. However, the consumption portion of the fee has been discounted by 50% for the lowest consumption level, which staff proposes be established at the consumption levels required to meet basic household needs.”
Homes that use wells and have their own sewer would pay only a fixed stormwater fee, phased in over four years.
The proposal will be debated at the city’s environment committee on Oct. 18.
If approved, changes would take effect January 2018.