Budget and Rates
Proposed fiscal year 2016-2017 budget
At a public workshop on March 24, 2015, EBMUD staff presented the Board of Directors with a proposed budget of $1.8 billion for the next two fiscal years (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2017). The budget funds critical capital projects including $69 million to replace aging pipelines. It also accounts for increased water supply costs because of drought, and balances slimmed down water sales.
Under fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016) of this proposal, the average EBMUD household that uses about 246 gallons daily would see an increase in their monthly water charge of $3.57, increasing their bill from $48.60 to $52.17 each month. That is about a 7 percent increase to most residential water bills in fiscal year 2016. About two-thirds of EBMUD’s single family residential customers use less than the average amount.
The highest one percent of water using households, those using about 1,476 gallons daily, would see an increase in their monthly water charge of $47.69, increasing their bill from $264.68 to $312.37 each month. That is about an 18 percent increase for those customers in fiscal year 2016.
The wide range in water rate increases in fiscal year 2016 stems from the findings of a cost of service study the district conducted last year. State law requires rates be based on the cost of service. The study recommended adjustments for rates in all customer classes and all tier levels to match customer costs with services received.
A 7 percent rate increase for all water customers also is proposed for fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017).
Temporary drought surcharges may be needed
New this year to the budget are proposed temporary drought surcharges of up to 25 percent. The drought surcharges of 8, 20 or 25 percent would apply to all customers only during a declared stage 2, 3 or 4 drought and only on the volume of water they use. Drought surcharges primarily would pay for water supplies via EBMUD’s Freeport facility on the Sacramento River.
Revenue reality shapes projections
For the previous two budget periods the district faced financial challenges brought on by the 2008 drought and the Great Recession when water sales, hydropower sales, interest income and other revenue declined. From 2010 to 2013, the district reduced and deferred nearly $200 million in capital projects and operating expenses, implemented a hiring freeze and a salary freeze, and paused less urgent maintenance work.
Process culminates in June
A series of public board workshops held over the past year form the foundation of the budget. The workshops examined short- and long-term impacts of operating and capital needs, financial policies, fixed versus variable costs and the effects of the ongoing drought.
The EBMUD Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on the fiscal year 2016-2017 budget at a public hearing on June 9, 2015. A Proposition 218 notice will be mailed to ratepayers this spring. The budget and rates, if approved, will take effect July 1, 2015. View the timeline for the fiscal year 2016-2017 budget.
Proposition 218, enacted in 1996, requires that a notice about changes to proposed rates and charges and other fees be mailed to ratepayers 45 days before the public hearing on rates and charges is held by the Board. This notice is currently being mailed to ratepayers. It explains that proposed rate increases to its water and wastewater service fees are necessary for EBMUD to recover current and projected costs of its operations and maintenance, and fund necessary capital infrastructure improvements and repairs. This notice is available below.
Proposition 218 notice and documents
Proposed Stage 4 drought surcharge and excessive use penalties
EBMUD has declared a stage 4 drought. If approved June 9, stage 4 temporary drought surcharges of up to 25% on the water flow charge will apply to all customers effective July 1.
Drought surcharges will pay for the costs of additional water supplies, conservation outreach and enforcement of restrictions. If approved, excessive use penalties will accrue starting July 1. Penalties will target the highest water using households to curb water waste and reduce the overwatering of landscapes.
Current fiscal year 2014-2015 budget
Following a public hearing on June 11, 2013, the EBMUD Board of Directors approved the fiscal year 2014-2015 biennial budget and rates. EBMUD water rates increased by 9.75 percent in fiscal year 2014 (July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014), and 9.5 percent in fiscal year 2015 (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015).
The typical EBMUD water customer who averages 246 gallons daily saw an increase of $3.96 more each month in FY14 and $4.19 more monthly in FY15. EBMUD wastewater rates increased by 9 percent in FY14 and 8.5 percent in FY15, representing an increase to the average wastewater customer of a little more than a dollar a month each budget year. The FY14 rates became effective July 1, 2013 and the FY15 rates on July 1, 2014.
Mid-Year Budget Cycle Update - Provides status of and projected changes to revenues, expenditures, and staffing for the second year of the two-year budget.
Biennial FY14-15 Budget - Contains a budget overview, priorities, financial forecast, and staffing changes. The Capital Project Supplement provides the details of our Capital Improvement Program.
Budget Fact Sheet - The fact sheet is a summary of the current biennial budget. The fact sheet summarizes the adopted budget and provides answers to frequently asked questions.