Proposed Water/Sewer Utility Rate Structure

How Will the Rate Change Impact Your Bill?

The standard meter size, 5/8”, is used by all single family residential and most non-single family customers. The following bill calculator will allow you to estimate bill differences between current and proposed new rate structure based on your typical bi-monthly water usage. Please refer to your utility bill to see history of your usage patterns. 

Bill Calculator- Current Rates             Use this calculator to view rates currently billed         

Bill Calculator- Proposed Rates          Use this calculator to find the new bill amount under the proposed utility structure and rates 

This new rate structure was designed to be revenue neutral with minimal cost impacts to the average customer. The Coronavirus pandemic delayed the implementation of the new rate structure until the FY22 budget process. The new rates effective mid-July 2021 include a 3% water and 5% wastewater rate increase to offset inflationary cost factors. 

**If you are a Non-Single Family customer with a meter over 5/8" or you are unsure of your meter size, please contact revenue@purcellvilleva.gov for a bill calculation specific to your meter size/account.

Components of Your Utility Bill:

Charge Lines

Rate

Water Usage Fee

Cost based on your bi-monthly water usage

Water Service Fee

Fixed cost based on your meter size

Sewer Usage Fee

Cost based on your bi-monthly water usage

Sewer Service Fee

Fixed cost based on your meter size



Understanding Proposed Utility Rates & Rate Structure Changes  

The following provides more information regarding proposed changes to the Town of Purcellville’s utility rate structure and how this change will impact your bill.  The proposed rate change will be effective for water usage beginning in mid-July 2021 and will be reflected on your October 2021 utility bill.

Background: 

The Town commissioned Stantec, our utility rate consultant, to conduct a utility rate study in order to design a sustainable user rate structure based on cost of service. On December 10, 2019 Town Council agreed to move forward with the new rate structure designed to achieve four key objectives:

  • Rate Equity  (Align rate structure with cost to serve each class of users)
  • Rate Simplicity
  • Encourage Water Conservation
  • System Sustainability

Stantec conducted a comprehensive rate study and developed a 10-year financial model for each utility.

  • Determine the full cost of providing water and sewer service to users
  • Develop alternative water and sewer rate structures consistent with objectives above
  • Conducted 6 public workshops to receive feedback from the governing body and public 

A public hearing was held on April 27, 2021 to receive public comment on the proposed utility rate structure and rate increases. Official adoption of the FY22 rates and rate structure will occur with the adoption of the FY22 Budget and Master Tax and Fee Schedule.

FY22 Proposed Master Tax & Fee Schedule

Goal: 

Establish a user rate structure to ensure revenues are sufficient to cover the cost of utility service over-time and the utility systems remain self-supporting.

  • Use customer data analytics to update the user rate structure consistent with cost of service methodology
  • Simplify the water volumetric rate structure from 17-usage tiers to 4-usage tiers
  • Modify water fixed service fee to better match the system's fixed costs 
  • Modify wastewater fixed service fee to better match the system's fixed costs  
  • Improve rate equity for high end users: (primarily commercial, institutional, multi-family)
  • Modify the utility rate structure to align cost recovery with the cost of service based on customer usage patterns. Create two user classes: Single Family Residential & Non-Single Family 
    • Single Family Residential user class is Water and/ or Sewer service provided to an individually metered single family home.
    • Non-Single Family user class is Water and/ or Sewer service provided to a master-metered multi-unit/ multi-family dwelling or non-residential (commercial, industrial, and institutional.)

 

What to Expect in the Future

As with your household or business, the Town’s utility system faces inflationary operational cost pressures as well as capital investment needs to ensure our plants and infrastructure are maintained in good working order and compliant with all safety and environmental requirements. Over the past year, the Town worked with our financial advisors to take advantage of the current low interest rate markets to refinance and restructure existing debt to mitigate and smooth annual rate increases required to sustain operational needs. While the fiscal plan will be revisited each year during the budget process, annual user rate increases of about 3% in water and 5-7% in wastewater will be needed over the next 5 years to support operational costs.  Additional rate increases may be required in the future to support additional capital needs, primarily associated with expanded water capacity and capital maintenance projects. The Town will work to leverage grants and innovative entrepreneurial initiatives to offset user rate impacts.