Residential Water Rates
The City of Spokane’s residential Water Rates are designed to be affordable, understandable, and predictable for our customers. The rates include a monthly base charge plus a charge for the amount of water a customer uses each month.
The current structure was approved in the spring of 2012. The Mayor and City Council approved a new rate structure to reduce high summer water bills that were prevalent under the previous structure and were a significant source of customer frustration.
Here’s how it works:
- Customers pay a base charge of $14.09 a month that helps pay for maintenance of the City’s water system. We have about 1,000 miles of water pipes to deliver water to all of our customers.
- The water use, or “consumption,” charge includes four tiers that are designed to encourage conservation, without being overly burdensome.
- We are using graduated block pricing to make water more affordable. This helps citizens pay less because their usage is billed progressively at each tier, as opposed to charging all use at the rate of the highest applicable tier.
2013 Water Consumption Charges
|Tier||Units||Gallons||Price per unit*|
|1||0 to 6||0 to 4,500||27 cents|
|2||7 to 10||4,501 to 7,500||57 cents|
|3||11 to 45||7,501 to 33,600||77 cents|
* A unit equals 748 gallons of water
Following a successful pilot program in the summer of 2012, the City permanently switched to monthly billing for water use in May 2013, providing customers with more predictable bill amounts. The City traditionally had billed customers every two months for water use, leading to higher City utility bills every other month for customers.
For even greater consistency of utility billing amounts, customers can request a “budget billing” option that spreads amounts evenly across all months of the year. Customers can call 625-6000 Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. to set up budget billing for their accounts. Remember, City utility bills also include charges for garbage pickup and curbside recycling, wastewater and stormwater management, and water.
The City Council considers changes to the water rates on an annual basis, during the City’s budget process. The Mayor has committed to limiting annual utility rate increases to inflation as expressed by CPI. For 2013, water rates were increased by a modest 3.5 percent.