FAQs New Rate Structure

1. When will rates increase?
Through a rates review process, the CVRD developed a funding model that balances affordability and revenue sufficiency. An immediate rate increase in 2015, will result in an additional revenue that will cover all the system’s operations and maintenance as well as debt servicing costs and provide new funding to begin to address infrastructure renewal needs.   

2. How will residents be affected?
In 2015, the base charge is increasing from $18 per month to $23 per month – an increase of five dollars per month. As part of this base charge, all households will receive an allocation of 24,000 litres per month at no additional charge. Water use in most households falls below this level the majority of the time. Residents will notice an increase in frontage taxes ($1.04 per foot in 2015, $1.13 per foot in 2016, $1.24 per foot in 2017). 

3. What is the CVRD doing to keep rate increases as low as possible?
The CVRD is investing in infrastructure replacement, which will avoid the expenses associated with system failures in the future. It is also tracking water service costs, revenues, user fees, and budgeting for long-term sustainability.

4. How many households use more than the basic water allocation?
Most households use much less than the basic allocation of 24,000 litres per month. In fact, during the summer water use in about 60 per cent of households is below the threshold.  During the winter, almost 90 per cent of households use less than this amount. Average water use over the whole year across the whole community is about 21,000 litres per month. This means that most households will not have any additional charges beyond the base charge most of the time.

5. What if I use more than 24,000 litres per month?
If, on average, you use more than the basic allocation of 24,000 per month over a three month billing period, you will have an additional volume-based charge of $1.30 for every additional thousand litres (or cubic metre) you use.  If you use more than 45,000 litres per month (a volume equal to a large tanker truck) you will be charged $1.90 for every additional cubic metre.  Most households use less than 24,000 per month, and those that do use more than this typically only do so in the summer.  The vast majority of households use far less than 45,000 litres per month.

6. How is the rate structure being simplified?
Up until now, Black Creek-Oyster Bay has had a complicated rate structure. It has had four different rate tiers, with increasing per unit charges at each tier. However, only a very small portion of customers have consumption that falls into the highest tiers.  The rate structure will be simplified to have only two tiers.