The Gilbert Town Council has approved utility rate changes that will go into effect on November 1, 2018.
Rate adjustments are needed to keep utility services funds balanced with expenses over the next few years. Residential water and wastewater rates have been unchanged since 2009, and environmental services rates were decreased in 2012.
If you have questions, comments, or concerns about the proposed rate changes, please contact Eric.Braun@gilbertaz.gov.
We hosted two community open house workshops in August to help answer questions regarding these changes. Weren’t able to join us? View the presentation slides here.
Frequently Asked Questions
When was the last utility rate increase?
- Environmental Services rates were decreased in 2012
Why do we need a utility rate increase?
- The Gilbert Town Council has reviewed the fiscal health of the community’s water, wastewater, reclaimed water, and environmental services utilities and determined that rate adjustments are needed to keep the funds balanced with expenses over the next few years.
- The rate adjustments are needed in order to maintain current service levels as our community continues to age and grow.
- A financially strong and stable utility is necessary in order to maintain the existing, critical infrastructure and services our customers rely on now and into the future. As infrastructure ages, it needs maintained and sometimes, replaced.
- The new rates better reflect today’s cost of service to deliver safe and reliable water, remove and treat wastewater, deliver reclaimed water to landscape irrigation customers, provide trash and recycling services, and meet federal and state mandates to protect the environment.
What has Gilbert done to be as efficient as possible in order to prevent rate increases?
Gilbert is committed to operating as efficiently as possible. Therefore, we strive to be proactive and prepared in our infrastructure maintenance. Due to our efforts, we have not had a rate increase since 2009.
Read about how Gilbert beats industry standards and conducts long range planning to ensure the system is maintained in a cost-effective manner:
- Energy efficiency in water production and pumping
- Preventative maintenance of fire hydrants
- Maintaining water distribution infrastructure
- Wastewater removal, treatment, and purification
- Gilbert’s water sources
- Ensuring high water quality 24/7, 365 days a year
- Groundwater recharge
How much is my single family residential utility bill expected to change?
To determine how your utility bill will be impacted by these changes, please use the utility bill calculator.
If you have questions, comments, or concerns about the impact of the new utility rates, please contact Eric.Braun@gilbertaz.gov.
What is a water consumption fee on a residential utility bill?
The water consumption fee, sometimes referred to as a variable charge, is based on a household’s monthly water use. Total monthly water usage, in thousand gallon increments, is broken out according to tiers and called Residential Water Consumption on your bill.
With the new residential rate structure, on a monthly basis:
- Tier 1 charges $1.20 per 1,000 gallons for use between 0-8,000 gallons
- Tier 2 charges $1.28 per 1,000 gallons for use between 8,000-20,000 gallons
- Tier 3 charges $1.60 per 1,000 gallons for use between 21,000-30,000 gallons
- Tier 4 charges $2.06 per 1,000 gallons for all use above 30,000 gallons
You can locate your water usage on your residential utility bill. If you cannot locate it, feel free to call a customer service professional at (480) 503-6800.
What is a water meter base fee on a residential utility bill?
The meter base fee, sometimes referred to as a fixed charge, is based on the size of the water meter and called the Meter Base Fee on your bill. The meter base fee pays for the “fixed” costs of operating and maintaining our water system, such as treatment plants, fire hydrants, underground water lines, water meters, and water isolation valves that provide safe and reliable water 24/7, 365 days a year. The cost to maintain these assets are “fixed” in the sense that no matter how much water you use, we still need to maintain all of that infrastructure in order to deliver water to your residence.
Additionally, the meter fee pays for the capacity in the water system to serve your residence with water. For example, a smaller sized meter means smaller anticipated water demands. A larger sized meter suggests larger water demands and thus more capacity in the system is needed. Larger meters pay for this extra capacity in our water system via higher monthly meter base fee charges. You can locate your water meter size on your residential utility bill. If you cannot locate, feel free to call a customer service professional at (480) 503-6800.
The new water meter base fees per month for residential customers are as follows:
- 3/4 inch = $16.30
- 1 inch = $27.25
- 1.5 inch = $54.30
Where can I find the full listing of the new residential water consumption fees and meter base fees compared to the current fees?
See the full listing of the new rates.
Do the new rates alter how Gilbert charges residential customers for wastewater removal and treatment (the Residential Sewer section of your utility bill)?
Gilbert will charge a flat fee for wastewater removal and treatment, at $24.73 per month.
There will no longer be winter averaging to assess how much wastewater you produced. Sewer services are fixed. You either are either served by the infrastructure to remove and treat wastewater or you are not. Therefore, a flat fee is being applied.
What does a sewer base rate for commercial customers pay for?
The base rate helps recover the fixed asset costs to safely remove and purify wastewater (think sanitary sewer pipes, lift stations to move wastewater, and operations and maintenance of water reclamation facilities where treatment and purification of wastewater occurs).
Do the new rates alter the amount Gilbert charges residential customers for environmental services (trash and recycling)?
- 90 gallon container monthly fees decrease to $14.80
- 65 gallon container monthly fees decrease to $13.60
I’m looking at my bill and I don’t currently see an environmental compliance fee. What is this?
You will now see a fee up to $4.28 on your monthly Gilbert utility bill marked as “environmental compliance fee.” In the past, this program was funded out of the environmental services (trash and recycling) utility service. However, to be transparent about the cost of this service, a separate fee is being applied.
It is important to note that these programs are not newly created by Gilbert, but have existed for some time in response to State and Federal environmental protection requirements. To fund these programs properly in order to remain in compliance with state and federal laws, the environmental compliance fee will appear as a line item on your utility bill. Transparency and properly funding this utility service ensures that the beneficiaries (residents and businesses of Gilbert) pay into the costs required to maintain a healthy environment.
I need more help understanding what the impact of these proposed rate changes will be to my household.
Please contact Eric.Braun@gilbertaz.gov with any questions.
Why do you ask me to conserve water and then raise my rates?
Water conservation has actually helped prevent the need for rate increases. Gilbert water customers have steadily been reducing their demand since 1997. Due to this decrease in per person demand, we didn’t have to expand our facilities as much or acquire as many water supplies. When everyone conserves, everyone saves.
Rates are 6% lower today than they would have been if customers hadn’t conserved. Conservation is part of the reason we have not had to have a rate increase since 2009.
How does Gilbert compare with its neighbors in terms of rates for utility services?
Even with the rate increases, Gilbert is still one of the lowest cost (and highest quality) utility service providers in the Valley. See how Gilbert ranks compared to other municipalities in terms of costs of utility services provided.
What’s contained in my utility bill?
Gilbert provides five utility services: water, sewer/ wastewater, reclaimed water, environmental services, and environmental compliance. As residents, businesses, schools, churches, hospitals, hotels, or multifamily complexes residing in Gilbert, you may utilize all or only some of the utility services Gilbert provides.
The use of a specific utility service is reflected on your individual Gilbert utility bill. For example:
- Only large landscapes like HOAs and golf courses use reclaimed water and are billed for their consumption accordingly.
- Businesses have the option to use private trash haulers instead of Gilbert’s commercial refuse services.
- If you are in a county island and maintain a septic system, you won’t see a sewer fee portion on your bill because your wastewater does not go into Gilbert sanitary sewer system.
- Everyone pays for environmental compliance, because everyone benefits from a healthy environment.
How much water should I use at my house?
There is no one size fits all answer to this question. How much water you should use at your house depends on the number of occupants in the home and the size of your landscape, among other factors. Use the Gilbert Water Calculator to determine how much water you should be using at your house, and see if you have room for savings.
Can you help me reduce my water use and lessen the impact of these rate changes?
Gilbert Water Conservation is here to help you use the right amount of water for your needs. We offer many tools to help residents use water wisely. Visit us at gilbertaz.gov/water to learn more.