Marlene Feist, Public Works Director of Strategic Development, 509.625.6505
Friday, December 11, 2020 at 10:28 a.m.
This fall, the City of Spokane approved changes to the rates it charges for water use, rewarding customers for lower water use and encouraging customers to limit their use to 25 units (or around 18,700 gallons) a month. The new rates change the tiered structure for water use that the City had been using and take effect on January 1.
We have created a new water calculator to let our customers how the changes would impact them. Each customer can enter their City utility account number and address. Our calculator will provide a look at each customer’s own historical use and calculate the difference the customer would pay under the new rates.
Under the water use changes, 90 percent of customers will have the same or lower bills for at least half the year, and half wouldn’t pay more during summer irrigation season either. The median increase for residential customers would be $11 total over the 3 summer months.
The new tier structure does add a fifth, higher-cost tier for customers who use more than 21,000 gallons of water in a month. Year-round median use among residential customers is about 6,000 gallons a month. A look at the revised tiers is on the City’s web site.
Small changes in how people use water can make a big difference. The City offers a variety of rebates and bill credits for customers who add water-saving equipment or landscaping.
The water tier changes are consistent with the Water Conservation Master Plan adopted by the City Council this summer, which endeavors to encourage customers to use less water particularly during the summer months when water use soars in Spokane.
Reducing summertime peak demand for water ultimately will reduce the need for larger infrastructure to serve growth, saving our customers money over time. The City has a goal of supporting future growth without increasing the amount of water it pumps annually from the aquifer.