EFC Project: Alabama Water and Wastewater Rates and Rate Structures

Project
Alabama Water and Wastewater Rates and Rate Structures

The Environmental Finance Center and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management have conducted a water and wastewater rates survey of nearly all local government and other categories of utilities (regional authorities, non-profits, for-profits, etc.) in the State of Alabama in 2014 and in 2016. Approximately four hundred fifty utilities across the state participated in each survey. 

 

                    

All related publications and tools are shown in boxes to the left. Shortcut to:

  


 

Description of the 2016 Alabama Water and Wastewater Rates Survey

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) contracted with the Environmental Finance Center (EFC) to conduct a water and wastewater rates survey based on the successful rates survey process used for several years in North Carolina and Georgia. ADEM collected rate sheets and annual financial reports from 448 utilities across the state of Alabama; the EFC then input selected data from these source documents into a database. The participating utilities account for more than 90 percent of all customers served by public community water systems. The rate sheets specify how much utilities charge water/wastewater customers for their water use or wastewater disposal; and the annual financial reports (where available) illustrate key financial performance indicators for the utilities, such as operating revenues and operating expenses for the water and/or wastewater operations of the utilities. The sampled utilities serve nearly all of the customers who are directly billed for their water or wastewater use by utilities in the state. The rate sheets are used determine what residential and commercial customers of these utilities are billed for their water, irrigation and wastewater service at various consumption levels. Information on rates and rate structures across the state, as well as financial key performance indicators, have been compiled into a summary report, rates data tables, and the Alabama Rates Dashboard. These tools and resources are intended to be used by ADEM, utility managers and boards, researchers, and any other interested parties. This information allows for comparisons and benchmarking of current rates (and other financial data) and can assist officials and staff as they make decisions related to water and wastewater services during budget preparations.

 

Survey Response Rate:

Year and Month of Survey Publications* Number of Utilities that Participated in the Rates Survey
   
August 2016 448
June 2014 452

 

*survey conducted a few months prior

 


 

Utility Rate Sheets (Rates as of April 1, 2016)

To view a utility's rate sheet for rates effective as of April 1, 2016, please select from the drop down menu. A pdf file of 2-11 pages will appear (requires Adobe Reader). Please note that some utilities may have more than one rate sheet. For example: some counties have one rate sheet per district. 

 

Rates effective as of April 1, 2016. Contact the utilities directly for the latest, most accurate information.

 


 

Report, Tables and Dashboard of the Alabama Water and Wastewater Rates and Rate Structures

In August 2016, the EFC and ADEM published a list of data tables and a final report that summarizes the current rates and rate structures across 448 utilities in the State of Alabama. In addition, the EFC published the updated Alabama Water and Wastewater Rates Dashboard, which provides an interactive visual display of each utility's rates and financial performance indicators. The Rates Dashboard is designed to assist utility managers and local officials with analyzing residential water and wastewater rates against multiple characteristics, including utility finances, system characteristics, customer base socioeconomic conditions, and geography. All tools and publications are available for free to the public and are listed in the boxes to the left.

 

Alabama Rates Dashboard: An online, interactive visual display of each utility's rates and financial performance indicators. The dashboard is designed to assist utility managers and local officials with analyzing residential water and wastewater rates against multiple characteristics, including utility finances, system characteristics, customer base socioeconomic conditions, and geography.

Access the 2016 Rates Dashboard

 

Annual Summary Report: A final report summarizing the rates, rate structures and trends currently in use across the State of Alabama. The report answers frequently asked questions about what utilities are charging, their rate structure designs, how rates have increased, affordability and financial sustainability of Alabama utilities.

Access the Report for Year:  2016  2014   

 

Tables of Rates and Rate Structures: Data tables that list all utilities' residential and non-residential water, wastewater and residential irrigation rate structure details as well as the monthly-equivalent bills computed at different consumption levels. 

Access the Tables for Year:  2016  2014   

  


Webinar Series:

 

In 2014 the Environmental Finance Center presented a series of free webinars on the Alabama Water and Wastewater Rates Dashboard and other powerful financial management tools for water and wastewater utilities. Each webinar is accessible on demand via recordings listed below.

 

Benchmarking Water and Sewer Rates and the 2014 Alabama Water & Wastewater Rates Dashboard 

This free, interactive webinar provides information about metrics for sustainable rates and financing for drinking water and wastewater systems in Alabama.

See the presentation slides or watch a recording of this webinar here.

Affordability of Water and Sewer Rates and the Affordability Assessment Tool 

How can you best serve low income customers while maintaining a business approach?

See the presentation slides or watch a recording of this webinar here.

Rate-Setting Using the Water & Sewer Rates Analysis Model

Does your system charge your customers the correct amount for water and sewer?  

See the presentation slides or watch a recording of this webinar here.

Capital Planning and the User-Friendly Capital Improvement Tool for Water & Wastewater Utilities

Does your system have a plan to sustainably fund capital improvement projects for the next 20 years?

See the presentation slides or watch a recording of this webinar here.

 


 

Participating Organizations: 

ADEM logo EFC logo
The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) is an agency of the State of Alabama, whose mission is to protect and improve the quality of Alabama's environment and the health of all its citizens. The Environmental Finance Center (EFC), based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and with an office in Atlanta works with local communities and government agencies to address environmental management challenges by developing innovative financial management and environmental policy strategies and systems.

Project funded by: Alabama Department of Environmental Management
Project last updated: Wed, 2017-02-15 14:42

 

For more information, please contact David Tucker at the Environmental Finance Center.