Finance

Utility Billing Rates 2019-2020

Water and Sewer Rate Increase Information

It mostly goes unnoticed that hundreds of employees, machinery, and infrastructure are working around the clock every single day to make sure that when we turn on our faucets, get water, or flush the toilet, it goes away.

These essential services are critical to get right, and we are dedicated to delivering them affordably and reliably for the foreseeable future. That's an important responsibility we have at the City of Mount Holly, and we take it very seriously.

Read below for more information, including FAQs. 

Click here to access the online bill calculator: 

NEW RATE STRUCTURE FAQS

What is happening with the water and sewer rates?

  • To continue to provide Mount Holly with high quality, reliable water and sewer service, we have updated the fee structure and rates for water and sewer use. 
  • The rate structure will continue to have tiers for residential customers inside the City, but you will only be charged for water/sewer base if you use less than 2,000 gallons ($27.55, see infographic).
  • A new “base” charge will be added to all bills to consistently fund fixed costs and much-needed infrastructure repair and replacement.  The base charge includes the first 2,000 gallons of water/sewer flow per month. (see formula in infographic)
    • The base charge has two components, a fixed charge to recover the fixed costs associated with customer service, billing and a portion of debt service, and a fixed fee to fund much-needed infrastructure investments, such as water line replacements.

How much is the increase?

  • The full schedule of new rates is posted here.
  • The price per tier for water will remain the same in fiscal year 19-20, but will increase for sewer. 
  • The new base charge will appear on monthly bills beginning September 1, 2019.
  • Customers who use less than 2,000 gallons per month will start paying $27.51 per month in September. 
  • Customers who use more than 2,000 gallons will pay $27.51 per month plus their use above 2,000 gallons multiplied by the new water/sewer rate per 1,000 gallons. 

How can I determine what my bill will be?

  • In order to plan expenses, we have created a new online calculator to help you estimate your water and sewer bill.

Why are rates increasing?

  • The cost to maintain and repair the infrastructure needed to provide water and sewer service has increased in the 10 years since the old rate structure was put in place. 
  • The old rate structure provided highly variable revenue for the City, making it difficult to plan for capital projects.
  • The new rate structure aligns Mount Holly’s rates with what it costs to serve our customers.

How does the community benefit from the new rate structure?

  • The new rate structure creates revenue stability which helps ensure we meet requirements of the rating agencies and the Local Government Commission, which can also help us borrow debt at better interest rates. 
  • This additional revenue will continuously fund the infrastructure investments we need to make in water and sewer lines, pumps and tanks, to ensure you continue to receive reliable, safe water service for years to come. 
  • The new structure more equitably distributes the costs of service over all customers.

Who will be impacted by the new rate structure?

  • All Mount Holly customers will be impacted by the changes to the water and sewer rates. 

Can I still pay my bill the same way?

  • Yes, we will continue to offer many easy ways to pay your bill. You can use your smart phone and pay online, you can mail a check, pay in person, or set up an automatic payment using the City’s automatic bank draft program.

How do Mount Holly’s rates compare to others?

  • The new rate structure still ensures Mount Holly’s water and sewer rates are some of the lowest in the region 
    • Mount Holly’s average bill is currently 2.5 to 3 times lower than the state average
    • Even with these changes, it still costs less than two pennies per gallon to have water delivered to your faucet, as compared to $3-5 for a gallon of bottled water. 
  • The addition of the new base charge is a common, best practice among public water and wastewater utilities.

How is my water and sewer use calculated? 

  • Mount Holly staff reads your meter every month. The meter tells us how many thousands of gallons of water you used since the last time we read your meter. 
  • We use the total gallons of water used per month and match that to the four tiers of water and sewer rates. 
  • Residents who use less than 2,000 gallons per month, only pay the base fee of $27.51. 
  • If you use 2001 gallons per month or more, you will pay the base fee, plus the water and sewer used above that amount at the next highest tier. If water use is greater than the second tier, we continue moving up the tiers until we reach the fourth tier. 
  • Most households, 84%, use 6,000 gallons of water or fewer per month (the first and second tier), and 34% use 2,000 gallons or fewer per month. Your bill is specific to your usage.

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