YOUR WATER RATES
Water service rates are based on the real costs of treating and delivering water to customers and are regulated by state public utilities commissions. In West Virginia, rates are determined by the Public Service Commission of West Virginia (PSC).
To determine rates, we work with PSC staff to study costs of construction, maintenance, operation, administration and financing. Once the studies are complete, the company, PSC staff and other involved parties present their conclusions before the Public Service Commission. The Commission considers the information presented and enters an order setting water rates as it sees fit.
Rates charged for service may vary based on a customer’s meter size. All customers pay the same rate for water usage. Customers are billed based on a regular meter reading, either monthly or quarterly for residential customers as well as for commercial and other public authority customers.
Rates can vary based on the cost of providing service in each of the communities we serve. Before it reaches your home or business, water is treated through an intricate treating and testing process to help ensure it meets or surpasses rigorous drinking water quality standards.
You can learn more about the rate setting process in our white paper: Challenges In The Water Industry: The Rate Approval Process.
West Virginia American Water 2021 Rate Request
- West Virginia American Water filed on April 30, 2021 to increase water and wastewater rates
In this filing, West Virginia American Water is seeking a base water rate increase to produce additional revenues of $40.5 million per year or an increase of 26.1 percent and an additional $0.34 million per year or a 31.0 percent increase in wastewater rates.
For the average residential water customer using 3,100 gallons per month, this amounts to $14.81 per month or $0.49 per day. While this increase represents the change from the current base rate to the proposed base rate, it is important to note that the current Distribution System Improvement Charge (DSIC) investment will be rolled into base rates and the surcharge will be reduced accordingly, offsetting a portion of the monthly increase. If approved, the actual impact customers will see on their water bills is approximately 19.7 percent which amounts to an increase of $11.26 per month or $0.38 per day. The proposed increase for the average residential wastewater customer is an increase of $17.70 per month or $0.59 per day.
- The primary driver is capital investment in system upgrades: $252 million since the last rate case
The largest driver of the case is the $252 million we will have invested in system improvements between March 2019 and February 2022. These upgrades are necessary to maintain and improve water quality, service reliability, fire protection and customer service. Over the last several years, we have significantly reduced our replacement cycle from over 1,000 years to approximately 100 years.
- The secondary driver is continued decline in customers and water usage
The vast majority of the costs we incur to provide water service are fixed costs and do not vary with the volume of water we sell to our customers. Consistent with national trends, customers are continuing to use less water every year at a rate of 1.4-3.2% less annually, with the decline varying by customer class. Unfortunately, the need to fund significant system improvements doesn’t decrease as usage or customers decrease.
- We have worked diligently to keep operating expenses in line with inflation for the past 10 years
We have been good stewards of our customers’ water and wastewater payments by controlling operating costs. This request is not driven by employee salaries or increased wages.
- Tap water is still a good value
Even with the proposed increase, the cost of potable water delivered around the clock is about two pennies per gallon. Our water service is quite affordable when you consider that all of your needs for drinking, cooking, cleaning and washing are provided for about $2 per day. We invite our customers to take a look at where their dollars flow.
- Rates are set by the Public Service Commission
Our company submits extensive data documenting the actual cost of providing water service. That data is scrutinized by the PSC in an open and thorough 10-month process that provides for public input. New rates would not be effective prior to February 25, 2022.
- We offer programs to help customers in need
West Virginia American Water offers a variety of customer assistance programs. Eligible low-income customers can receive a 20% discount on their water rates through our reduced rate program. We also help fund the WV Utility Assistance Program (Dollar Energy) to provide one-time emergency grants toward eligible customers’ water bills. Budget billing and flexible payment arrangements are available to customers. Learn more about our programs here.
West Virginia American Water Rates at a Glance
Minimum charge: Minimum charges are based according to the size of each meter installed. For customers with multiple meter settings, the minimum charge will be sum of the minimum charges for each of the individual meters. The minimum charge is based on 1,500 gallons. Usage above 1,500 gallons is calculated by the rates listed below.
- 3/4 inch meter or less* - $31.44 per month
- 1 inch meter - $77.00 per month
- 1-1/2 inch meter - $152.94 per month
- 2 inch meter - $244.14 per month
- 3 inch meter - $456.87 per month
- 4 inch meter - $760.76 per month
- 6 inch meter - $1,520.52 per month
- 8 inch meter - $2,432.24 per month
*Residential customers are served through 5/8" meters.
Volumetric Charge: Based on the number of gallons used.
- First 1,500 gallons used per month at the minimum charge (based on meter size - see above)
- Next 28,500 gallons used per month - $13.9450 per 1,000 gallons
- Next 870,000 gallons used per month - $9.1680 per 1,000 gallons
- Next 8,100,000 gallons used per month - $6.6770 per 1,000 gallons
- All over 9,000,000 gallons used per month - $4.3430 per 1,000 gallons
Distribution System Improvement Charge (DSIC)
The Public Service Commission of West Virginia has authorized a Distribution System Improvement Charge (DSIC) for West Virginia American Water customers, which is a 2.54 percent surcharge on monthly bills (approximately $1.38 for the average residential customer). This charge is reflected on your bill as a separate line item called “Distribution System Improvement Charge" and funds water system improvement projects that enhance service reliability, water quality and fire protection. The DSIC does not apply to wholesale customers under contract or to public fire accounts.
Sewer Rates for Fayetteville Wastewater Customers
Minimum charge: $46.26
Volumetric Charge: Based on the number of gallons of water used.
- First 2,500 gallons used per month $18.5040 per 1,000 gallons
- All over 2,500 gallons used per month $15.7690 per 1,000 gallons
Water Rates for Bluefield Valley Water Works Customers
Minimum charge: $25.62 for the first 2,000 gallons (for a standard residential 5/8” meter)
Volumetric Charge: Based on the number of gallons of water used beyond the first 2,000 gallons at $8.2802 per 1,000 gallons.