A Message From President DiMenna
On May 1, 2021, New York American Water implemented the approved Rate Year 4 rate increase. In recognition of the COVID-19 public health emergency, New York American Water postponed the approved rate increase for thirteen months. As a result, customers' rates have not increased since April 1, 2019.
Governor Cuomo advocated for rate relief by removing the unjust Special Franchise Tax from our customers' bills. The New York State Senate passed legislation reflective of this solution, but the Assembly did not. As a result, our average customer's bill will increase by approximately 26 to 30 percent after May 1.
We strive to act transparently with our customers when it comes to your water bill. Take a look below to see how your bill will change depending on your household’s average water usage. We understand that the rate increase is significant and we want to provide relief to customers. We firmly believe that municipalization is not the answer for our customers. Only removal of the Special Franchise Tax will provide immediate relief. Action by the State Assembly is needed to achieve this relief.
In the meantime, we highly encourage customers to use water efficiently, especially for outdoor irrigation, to minimize the impact of this increase on their water bill. We offer many tools to help you conserve in our H2O Control Toolbox. Check it out.
What the May 1 Increase Means for Your Water Bill
New York American Water is regulated by the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC), and rates are established based upon the cost of providing service. This includes construction, maintenance, operation, administration and financing. Periodically, the company will file with the PSC for updates to its rates based on new infrastructure investments and any changes in the costs to operate the water system. This is referred to as a base rate case. The PSC approved a four-year rate plan for New York American Water beginning June 1, 2017.
New York American Water delayed its base rate increase for Rate Year 4 of this rate plan from April 1, 2020, until May 1, 2021. In addition, the System Improvement Charge and the Revenue Adjustment Clause / Property Tax Reconciliation charge were also postponed until May 1, 2021. Per the Public Service Commission Order issued December 30, 2020, New York American Water was granted a make-whole provision and a surcharge that will be applied to customers’ bills May 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022. Access the Order here.
Did You Know?
Depending on your service area, between 31 and 55 percent of your water bill is pass-through taxes, including the special franchise tax that only private water utility customers are charged. New York American Water continues to urge State Legislators to act to remove this tax burden unfairly placed on our customers.
More Information on Your May 1 Rates
Below are charts on the base rate increase, as well as the fixed water service charge.
Water Usage Charge
This charge represents the cost related to operating and maintaining source of supply, pumping, treatment and transmission and distribution facilities, as well as the capital costs related to upgrading these facilities. This charge is based on the amount of water you use. The charge is based on a four-tier increasing conservation water rate structure, meaning the cost per gallon increases with each rate block as shown below. By conserving water and keeping your water use within the lower blocks, you pay less per gallon. Reducing your water consumption will also ensure the long-term sustainability of our water source, the Long Island Aquifer.
Water Service Charge
This fixed charge represents the costs of meter reading, customer billing, accounting and maintaining the meter and service line to your property. The water service charge is based on the size of the water meter and is due with every bill. Most residential customers have 5/8” meters. Some also have a separate meter for their lawn sprinkler service, many of which are 1”. These rates apply to all service areas. Please refer to New York American Water’s tariff for charges related to larger meter sizes.