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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.
Source: National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency: Customer Incentives for Energy Efficiency Through Electric and Natural Gas Rate Design (PDF)
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Percentage of residential meters
Current rate (per 1,000 gallons)
Increasing Block Rate, effective June 1, 2021 (per 1,000 gallons)
Percentage of irrigation meters
25000 or fewer
*Irrigation meters are different from a normal residential meter. There are only 32 residential customers in Coppell with irrigation meters, which is a water meter that exclusively measures water used for outdoor watering and irrigation. These meters register outside water use only.
Residents that do not have separate irrigation meters will be charged at the residential water rate for the appropriate usage block/tier for any water used for irrigation purposes.
Under the new rate structure, 71% of residential customers are expected to see a slight decrease in their water bill. Any monthly water usage in excess of 15,000 gallons will be billed at the higher rate, meaning residents with high water use may see an increase in their bill.
Interested to learn more about your water consumption? Customers 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.
The rate for the first 15,000 gallons used under the new structure is $3.05 per 1,000 gallons. Any additional usage over 15,000 gallons is billed at the higher rate.
Uses 14,000 gallons per month and remains in first rate block
Customer charge for water portion of bill:
Under this scenario, the resident would likely see a decrease in their bill. Under the City's current rate structure, this customer would owe $61.95 (base rate* + 13,000 gallons at a rate of $3.15/1,000 gallons).
Uses 20,000 gallons per month and enters second rate block
Under this scenario, the resident would likely see an increase in their bill unless measures to reduce consumption are taken. Under the City's current rate structure, this customer would owe $80.85 (base rate* + 19,000 gallons at a rate of $3.15/1,000 gallons).
Uses 30,000 gallons per month and enters third rate block
Under this scenario, the resident would likely see an increase in their bill unless measures to reduce consumption are taken. Under the City's current rate structure, this customer would owe $112.35 (base rate* + 29,000 gallons at a rate of $3.15/1,000 gallons).
*The majority of Coppell homes have a 5/8" meter. However, some homes have a 1" meter. The base rate for 1" meters is $23.25. The base rate includes the first 1,000 gallons used.
The City of Coppell purchases its water supply from Dallas Water Utilities (DWU). The City currently pays $5.4 million for the right to demand 18.5 million gallons of water each day. If the City needs to increase to 19.5 million gallons, the cost would be an additional $291,422 based on rates charged by DWU today. The City’s daily water demand has increased over the years. It was 17 million gallons per day (MGD) until August 2011 when it was increased to 18 MGD. In August 2015, it was increased to 18.5 MGD. Several days in July and August 2018 and again in August 2019, demand from customers pushed water needs to the 18.5 MGD level and would have exceeded that level if City staff had not reached out to the community to limit water usage. If the City had not kept its usage at or under 18.5 MGD, a request for an increase in the daily demand would have been necessary. An increase in the daily demand remains for five years according to the City’s contract with DWU and we pay for the right to demand that amount even if we do not take it. This increase will result in higher rates for residents.
Additionally, the 2021 Region C Water Plan submitted to the Texas Water Development Board projects that the demand for water will exceed current supply. Coppell is in Region C, which covers 16 North Central Texas Counties, including Dallas, Tarrant, and Collin, among others. One of the water management strategies is water conservation. The Environmental Protection Agency states that the purpose of an increasing block rate structure is to encourage water conservation. Coppell has had a block rate structure in place for several years (referred to as the conservation rate, effective June through October). The new block rate structure is similar to the conservation rate but will be effective year-round.
Per Dallas Water Utilities’ 2014 Dallas Long Range Water Supply Plan to 2070 and Beyond Report:
“Future water supply need is the difference between future demand and available supply. Dallas’ future demands are projected to increase as a result of population growth, while Dallas’ current supplies are projected to decrease as a result of reservoir sedimentation and increased evaporation from predicted increases in air temperature. This results in a supply deficit, as demands overtake supplies at some point in the future. The plan is to incrementally add additional supply to the Dallas system to overcome the deficit and provide a sufficient buffer.
"In 2020 Dallas had a total supply system buffer of 33 MGD, and by 2070 it will have a supply deficit of 256 MGD. Dallas’ supply deficit begins to occur in about 2027 given the predicted growth in demand and the rate of declining supplies.”
The base rate for 5/8” residential meters remains unchanged, at $21. The majority of Coppell homes have a 5/8" meter. However, some homes have a 1" meter. The base rate for 1" meters is $23.25.
No, The City is not expected to collect any addition revenue as a result of the rate structure change or the residential sewer volume cap.
Under the new rate structure, 71% of residential customers are expected to see a slight decrease in their water bill.
The remaining 29% of residents who use in excess of 15,000 gallons per month may see an increase in their bills. The rate for the first 15,000 gallons used under the new structure is $3.05 per 1,000 gallons. Any additional usage over 15,000 gallons is billed at a higher rate.
The City anticipates that the reduced bill amount for 71% of residents will offset any additional revenue from the 29% of customers who may see an increase in their bill. Therefore, the City is not expected to see any increases in revenue as a result of the rate structure change.
The City could potentially see a decrease in revenue from water utilities once the new rate structure takes effect. If high-usage households begin efforts to conserve water – and therefore reduce their utility bills – the City could see a reduction in utility revenue.
Irrigation meters are different from a normal residential meter. There are only 32 residential customers in Coppell with irrigation meters, which is a water meter that exclusively measures water used for outdoor watering and irrigation. These meters register outside water use only.
Please contact Public Works to purchase a separate irrigation meter. The cost of the meter is dependent on the size requested. For example, the cost of a 1” meter is $285. In addition to the cost of the meter, there is a base rate for all meters. The base rate for an irrigation meter is also dependent on the size of the meter. The base rate for a 1” meter is $30.05. The base rate includes the first 1,000 gallons of water. Water usage over 1,000 gallons would then be billed based on the increasing block rate structure.
The City irrigates with well water where possible. Rolling Oaks Memorial Cemetery and Wagon Wheel Park are irrigated with well water. The City does not have the necessary infrastructure in place to accommodate graywater irrigation.
Your utility bill is calculated using two different rates: one for water service and one for sewer service. The amount you owe for water is calculated using a base rate (a set amount charged to every account each month) and a volume rate which changes based on how much water you use. Similarly, your sewer charge is calculated using a separate base and volume rate.
Water utility rates are determined through a rate study conducted by a consultant who specializes in helping entities (like cities) determine the water and sewer rates that need to be charged to cover the cost of running the water and sewer system.
The City provides the consultant with the following information:
Based on this information, a base rate is set for water – and a separate base rate is set for sewer – as well as volume rates for each.
Each customer pays a base rate that is determined by the size of the meter. Approximately 96% of our residential customers have a 5/8-inch meter.
For a 5/8” residential meter, the base rate is $21 and includes the first 1,000 gallons of water usage. The base rate is $22.40 for sewer and is also for the first 1,000 gallons of water usage.
The City also has a volume rate. Beginning June 1, 2021, the volume rate will be based on an increasing block rate structure:
Customers pay only for the water they use.
The City of Coppell is currently undergoing a multiyear, enterprise-wide transition to a new software vendor for financial, utility billing, asset management and human resources systems. As part of this project, water utility customer accounts will be converted to the new system.
The City already utilizes an increasing block rate structure (the conservation rate that is effective June through October). Therefore, the current billing system is already setup for an increasing block rate structure for water. The system is not setup to do winter averaging for sewer. Therefore, the recommendation from the software company that the City has partnered with for future utility billing was to not convert to winter averaging until after the City has implemented and used the new system for several months. This also provides staff with the ability to compare bills generated in the current system to bills generated in the new system. It is important the City has this ability as a tool to prevent incorrect bills being sent to customers. Bills must be correct, or the City risks losing the public’s trust.
In addition, the community should be provided an opportunity to adjust to the change. For example, from December 2021 through February 2022, the City could encourage customers to be aware of their water use and provide information concerning how they can impact their usage as Council is considering winter averaging for sewer volume. It is important that the City provide information to customers concerning water usage and the impact on their winter average. If Council wants to move forward with winter averaging, then the City would continue to communicate and educate customers regarding the change, use December 2022 through February 2023 to determine each customer’s winter average, and implement in April 2023.
Yes, the base rate is determined by the size of your meter. Approximately 96% of our residential customers have a 5/8-inch meter. Effective February 1, 2018, the base rate for a 5/8-inch meter is $21. Review the rates for all meter sizes (PDF).
The base rate is based on the size of the meter because larger meters have the ability to place a greater demand on the water system. Establishing a base rate on the size of the meter is consistent with how Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) charges cities. Each city pays a demand rate based on the volume it can demand from the system, which may not equal what the City actually requests or uses.
Larger meters are often installed to accommodate home fire sprinklers, irrigation systems, and homes with more water fixtures. The size of the meter installed is determined by the builder or engineer who designed the home, not by the City. The meter size installed is determined to be the size necessary for the volume and pressure necessary to accommodate the property’s water fixtures, however, downsizing a meter is an option.
However, if a 1 1/2-inch or 2-inch meter is currently installed, the City’s Utility Operations Department recommends downsizing to no smaller than a 1-inch meter. A noticeable difference in volume and pressure may be experienced if the irrigation system and other water fixtures are running at the same time.
It would be necessary to enlist a plumber to change the meter. The plumber would assess the situation and inform you of the impact of downsizing your meter based on your particular home and if any adjustments to piping would be necessary. The plumber would need to obtain a permit from Building Inspections prior to exchanging the meter and then request an inspection after the meter is installed. A new meter can be purchased from Building Inspections.