The City has completed the consultation portion of the billing exemption study. This study is part of the City’s ongoing water and wastewater rate review. Some exemptions being explored include: high water bill forgiveness, cost relief for water volumes consumed/evaporated by customer end uses, and terms for approval and/or billing of water-only or wastewater-only customer accounts. The City completed both residential and business (Industrial, Commercial and Institutional, or ICI) consultation. Consultation included telephone surveys, focus groups and one-on-one interviews. The final reports for the consultation work are now available. Residential consultation report (conducted by Metroline) [PDF 2MB] ICI consultation report (conducted by DFA Infrastructure Internation Inc.) [PDF 2MB] Peer municipal comparators report (completed by BMA Management Consulting Inc.) [PDF 1MB]
Why would the City offer billing exemptions? Water is a basic need, and some low income families or individuals struggle to pay for the water they need to drink, and to cook, bathe and clean with. Helping provide this essential service at a discounted cost ensures that everyone has needed access to clean, safe drinking water. In other cases, people with unknown leaks may get unexpected high water bills that put them in a difficult financial situation. Bill forgiveness, or temporary payment plans, can help alleviate unnecessary financial hardships. How will billing exemptions affect my water rate? We don’t know the answer to that yet. It will depend what we hear from our stakeholders through our ongoing engagement, what our best practice review finds as… Continue reading Questions and answers about billing exemptions
The City posted the Information Report to Council about the Water and Wastewater Billing Exemptions Study on May 19, 2017 (page 2).