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About DEP Water Rates

The rate for water and sewer charges will increase by 5.6% starting July 1, 2013.

What the Rate Increase Means for an Average Customer

  • A typical single-family homeowner will see an increase from $939/year to $991/year for water and sewer bills—slightly more than $4/month (based on an average consumption of 80,000 gallons of water per year).
  • A typical multi-family unit with metered billing will see an increase from $610/year/unit to $644/year/unit—less than $3/month (based on an average consumption of 52,000 gallons of water per year).

Rates are Lower Than Previously Projected Primarily Because:

DEP has taken aggressive operational cost saving measures.

  • For FY 2014 alone, DEP is cutting its operating budget by 4% to save $37 million, including OpX (or Operational Excellence) program initiatives.
  • 15 OpX initiatives implemented through March 2013 are projected to save $15.7 million per year.
  • DEP anticipates OpX initiatives implemented by the end of FY 2013 will produce recurring annual savings of $26.4 million.
  • The City will continue a pilot program to cap the Water Board’s payment for rental of the water supply and wastewater systems, resulting in a $12 million refund to the Water Board in FY 2013.

Revenue projections are higher than planned due to the near completion of DEP’s meter replacement and automated meter reading (AMR) device initiatives.

  • There are fewer estimated bills and billing disputes because DEP has installed 820,000 wireless meter reading devices (96% of target); substantial completion of AMR installations has resulted in improved revenue collection, a 62% reduction in estimated bills since 2011, and a 16% reduction in billing disputes since 2008.
  • DEP has enrolled over 177,000 customers in the Leak Notification Program; $33 million in leak-related charges have been avoided by more than 40,000 customers.

Regulatory and policy advances have enabled DEP better control its capital budget.

  • From 2002 through 2012, 65% of DEP’s capital spending was for mandates. That means that unfunded federal mandates like the $3.2 billion Croton Water Filtration Plant and $1.6 billion Ultraviolet Disinfection Facility cost the average homeowner $258 this year on their water bill.
  • In many cases, these were necessary investments for the long-term protection of the City’s water supply. However, being required to build them all at once during a heated private market drove up capital program costs.
  • DEP has been successfully working with regulators to reduce future mandates, and in the next 10-year Capital Improvement Plan, the percentage of mandated projects will fall to 18%.
  • Last year DEP eliminated or deferred a $3.4 billion dollar mandate for handling combined sewer overflows by replacing costly gray infrastructure projects with green infrastructure projects in an amended consent order with NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
  • DEP also deferred $1.6 billion for construction of a Hillview Reservoir cover; and is evaluating the alternative of incremental monitoring.

DEP has achieved substantial debt service savings in the low interest rate environment.

  • Actual debt service payments were $147 million lower than projected in FY 2013 due to continued low interest rates.
  • With lower interest rates available, since 2009 the Water Finance Authority has refinanced over $5.3 billion of higher-cost debt, achieving over $700 million of debt service savings.

The Water Board is responsible for establishing the rate following the proposal and subsequent public hearings. The New York City Water Board has scheduled five public hearings for the upcoming FY14 water rate proposal:

Staten Island

Monday, April 29, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
Joan and Alan Bernikow Jewish Community Center
1466 Manor Road

Brooklyn

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
IS 228 David A. Boody
228 Avenue S

Bronx

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Hostos Community College
Savoy Building – 2nd Floor
120 East 149th Street

Queens

Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
LaGuardia Community College
45-50 Van Dam Street – Room E-242
Long Island City

Manhattan

Friday, May 3, 2013 at 1:30 p.m.
City Planning Department
22 Reade Street – Spector Hall

Information on the hearings can also be found by visiting www.nyc.gov/nycwaterboard. Following the five public hearings, the Water Board will formally adopt a FY 2014 water rate on May 10, 2013, and the new rate will become effective on July 1, 2013.