WSSC’s current rate structure was adopted 25 years ago and good management practice dictates periodic review of rate structure alternatives. A new rate structure is intended to better align costs to produce and deliver safe, clean water with rates, to reflect customer and Commission rate setting policy goals and objectives, and to provide a more predictable revenue stream to pay for infrastructure improvements. Additionally, the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) recently ordered WSSC to develop a new rate structure. WSSC’s current rate structure was deemed unreasonable by the PSC because they found it to be preferential to low-usage customers.
In May 2016, WSSC initiated a comprehensive water and wastewater cost of service analysis and rate study. The study’s goal: to help WSSC establish water and wastewater rate structures that achieve the multiple objectives of revenue stability, equitable cost recovery, and ratepayer affordability.
On Wednesday, November 15, 2017, WSSC Commissioners endorsed management’s recommendations and sent three rate structure alternatives to Montgomery and Prince George’s County officials for their review. The recommendation follows a transparent and collaborative public process involving nationally-renowned rate structure experts, an authority on Maryland water conservation and extensive customer outreach.
|Water and Sewer Tiers|
|Type of Rate Structure||Options||Gallons Per Day||Rate per 1,000 Gallons|
|3-Tier Inclining||Option A||0-80||$10.66|
|3-Tier Inclining||Option B||0-165||$10.41|
|4-Tier Inclining||Option A||0-80||$10.66|
All three rate structure alternatives reflect customer input and Commission rate setting policy goals and objectives. Additionally, these alternatives provide a more predictable revenue stream to pay for infrastructure improvements and better align costs with rates.
Throughout the rate structure development process, WSSC engaged in an extensive public outreach campaign to garner input and feedback from residential and non-residential customers, elected officials and other interested stakeholders in both counties. In total, WSSC held or participated in more than 20 public meetings and/or hearings since spring 2017, which were attended by more than 1,200 customers and generated more than 300 total comments on the proposed rate structures. Additionally, all WSSC meetings were livestreamed and seen by nearly 2,500 viewers.