Environmental Finance Center

Census

Water and Wastewater Residential Rates Affordability Assessment Tool

A simple do-it-yourself Excel tool that guides a utility to assess the relative affordability of its water and wastewater rates on its residential customers using multiple metrics. Affordability is assessed for the average customer, low-income customers, and a full range of households based on their various income levels, both all households and only homeowners. The tool also allows for a new rate structure to be entered to see how affordability compares from one rate structure to the next.

"Percent MHI" Indicator of Affordability of Residential Rates: Using the U.S. Census Bureau's Median Household Income Data

Journal: The Georgia Operator. Volume 50, No. 2 - Spring 2013. Pages 26-30.

The Georgia Association of Water Professionals published a copy of EFC's post on the Environmental Finance blog in "The Georgia Operator" quarterly journal. This article/blog post describes the use of the Census Bureau's Median Household Income statistics in computing a commonly-used affordability indicator for water utilities, funders, state agencies and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: "percent MHI".

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