2014 Utility Rates

A full listing of Utility rates, fees and regulations for all levels of service can be found in the City of Vancouver's Municipal Code Title 14. Below is a brief summary of 2014 rates for our single-family residential customers.

Water

Each water customer pays a monthly base charge and a volume charge, based on the amount of water used in a billing period. All volume charges are computed per hundred cubic feet or CCF. Vancouver's typical single-family residential customer uses about 8 CCF. (1 CCF = 100 cubic feet or 748 gallons.) For a single-family residential customer, 2014 water rates are:

  • Inside the City of Vancouver: $6.05 monthly base charge and $1.70 per CCF volume charge.
  • Outside the City of Vancouver: $9.08 monthly base charge and $2.56 CCF volume charge.
     
Surface Water

All real property located in the City of Vancouver contributes drainage runoff to and/or benefits from the city’s surface water (stormwater/drainage) system. Property owners pay monthly charges, which cover operations and maintenance of stormwater facilities and capital expenditures for surface water improvements.

  • For single-family residences inside the City of Vancouver, the cost is $7.83 per month in 2014. This drainage charge will appear on your regular water/sewer utility bill.
     
Sanitary Sewer:

Sewer service charges for residential customers are based upon that customer's winter water usage, either in the previous November/January billing period or in the previous December/February billing period. There is a minimum base rate of 3 CCF per month, or 6 CCF over the two-month billing period. (1 CCF = 100 cubic feet or 748 gallons.) The City of Vancouver offers a waiver to this minimum sewer flow base rate for seniors who meet low-income and age requirements. (Read about the waiver and get the application form here.)

For the typical single-family residential customer, 2014 sanitary sewer rates are:

  • Inside the City of Vancouver: $4.40 per CCF
  • Outside the City of Vancouver: $6.66 per CCF

 

Combined Utility costs for 2014:

The combined monthly water/sewer/surface water Utility cost for a typical single-family residence inside Vancouver is $62.68. This is about $2.18 more than 2013.

How do we compare? Vancouver delivers high-quality public water, sewer and stormwater services at a cost that compares well to others around the region. These City combined Utility rates are among the lowest in the region.

 
Frequently Asked Questions about rates:

Where do my Utility dollars go?


Your Vancouver Utility dollars go to pay for the operations, maintenance and the extensive, interconnected systems that provide the community with safe, clean, reliable drinking water, public sewer, and stormwater services. Vancouver’s Utility is funded by and managed for its customers. The Utility is responsible for nearly $600 million in critical infrastructure assets, such as pump stations, well fields, reservoirs, underground pipes and treatment plants. Rates also pay for the electricity, chemicals, materials, supplies and labor needed to run those systems.

How much did Vancouver Utility rates increase for 2014? 

Water and stormwater rates increased 5 percent and sewer rates increased 2.5 percent in 2014. For the typical single-family residential customer living in Vancouver, the total impact to the combined water, sewer and stormwater drainage bill is about $2.18 more per month than it was in 2013.

What is the reason for the rate increase?


Rate increases for 2013 and 2014 were approved by the City Council, following a public hearing, in November 2012. The adopted rates allow the Utility to use ongoing revenues, not added debt, to replace aging infrastructure and make required repairs and improvements. That ensures the Utility can continue to meet the needs of today and tomorrow, taking care of and improving the infrastructure that serves our entire community. This goal of paying for ongoing needs with ongoing revenues is often called a pay-as-you-go approach. Debt financing, on the other hand, results in greater costs to the Utility and its customers because of interest and other costs associated with borrowing money. A portion of the increase will also pay for rising energy, materials and other inflationary costs.

What is a utility tax?


A utility tax is a tax levied on the gross operating revenues of a utility, whether it is a separate entity within the boundaries of a city or the city’s own utilities and service area.

Do I pay utility tax now on my water, sewer and storm water utilities bill?


Yes. The 20 percent tax is included in the monthly charges you pay for utilities services even though it is not itemized on your bill. Utility taxes go to the city's general fund to pay for fire, police and other core services.

Do other cities have utility taxes?


Four years ago, in an Association of Washington Cities Utilities & Tax Survey, 213 cities reported imposing utility taxes, some as high as 40 percent and some as low as 1 percent.

Where can I find information about City of Vancouver utility rates for commercial, industrial and government customers?

Please check the City of Vancouver's Municipal Code Title 14 or visit the page listed below for general information. For questions specific to your account, please contact a Utilities Services customer representative at 360-487-7999.

Questions?

Please send us an email