The City of Coppell is taking steps toward achieving its Vision 2040 goal to apply a ‘Smart City’ Approach to Resource Management. The Coppell City Council moved to implement a block rate structure to encourage water conservation at the March 23, 2021 meeting, after numerous prior discussions.
Effective June 1, 2021, the City of Coppell will switch from a seasonal water rate structure to an increasing block rate structure for residential and irrigation meter accounts. An increasing block rate structure establishes rates that increase with water usage.
The new structure establishes three “blocks” for residential water usage and two “blocks” for irrigation water usage. The per unit charge for water increases as customers use more water and move into each successive usage block.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, though seasonal rate structures encourage conservation during peak use periods, an increasing block rate structure offers the greatest incentive for conscious water usage.
“The change to an increasing block rate structure is to encourage water conservation, with the goal being a positive impact on water sustainability,” said Kim Tiehen, Assistant Director of Finance. “The idea is that encouraging conservation today will reduce the City’s need to request an increase in our daily water demand from Dallas Water Utilities in the future.”
In addition to the increasing block rate structure for water, a reduction in the sewer volume cap from 14,000 gallons to 13,000 gallons was also adopted. Wastewater rates remain unchanged.
The City is not expected to collect any addition revenue as a result of the rate structure change or the sewer volume cap.
“These changes are revenue neutral,” noted Tiehen.
Under the new rate structure, 71% of residential customers are expected to see a slight decrease in their water bill. The base rate for residential customers remains unchanged, at $21. The rate for the first 15,000 gallons used under the new structure is $3.05 per 1,000 gallons, which is a decrease from the current rate of $3.15 per 1,000 gallons. Historic water usage data suggests that the majority of residents will remain in the first block, with less than 15,000 gallons used.
The base rates for irrigation meters will increase by 6% to $22.26. Irrigation accounts that use less than 25,000 gallons will see an increase from $3.15 to $3.34. Accounts utilizing more than 25,000 gallons will see a rate increase from $3.15 to $4.78.
The City’s use of technology facilitated this environmentally friendly change. In 2019, the City undertook a project to install an advanced water meter system citywide, and these new meters provide the accurate usage data necessary to implement a new rate structure that supports mindful resource use. With the installation of the advanced system, customers now have access to a portal to monitor their water usage and “Get to Know Your H2O.”
Through the customer portal, customers can monitor water usage, set water budget and water consumption threshold alerts, view comparative data, set leak alerts and opt-in to notifications from the City. Consumption data is updated multiple times throughout the day on an internet-based customer dashboard that can be accessed from a computer, tablet or smart phone.
For more information about water or sewer rates, contact Utility Billing at 972-304-3695.