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The EFC at UNC and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management conducted water and wastewater rates survey of nearly all rate-charging utilities in the state in 2014, 2016, and 2019. The current Rates Dashboard displays rates that are effective as of January 1, 2019 for 487 utilities.
To view a utility's rate sheet for rates effective as of January 1, 2019, 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 January 1, 2019. Contact the utilities directly for the latest, most accurate information.
Description of the 2019 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. The EFC collected rate sheets and annual financial reports from 487 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 97 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|
* survey conducted a few months prior
In January 2019, the EFC and ADEM published a list of data tables and a final report that summarizes the current rates and rate structures across 485 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.
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.
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.
After the 2014 and 2016 rates surveys, the EFC presented a series of free webinars on the Alabama Water and Wastewater Rates Dashboard, rates, rate-setting, and other powerful financial management tools for water and wastewater utilities. View a recording of each webinar or download the presentation slides on the webpages below.
Discussion of various elements of rate structures and how to design them and choose between them in order to support different objectives of the utility (beyond cost recovery).
A statewide review of water and wastewater rates for 448 utilities in Alabama (April 2016 rates), and a demonstration of the Alabama Water & Wastewater Rates Dashboard.
Can your utility sustainably fund your planned capital improvement projects? Here is a free tool that can help you answer this question and assess different financing strategies for your capital projects.
September 2014: Rate-Setting Using the Water & Sewer Rates Analysis Model
Does your utility charge your customers the correct amount for water and wastewater? Here is a free tool that can help you answer this question.
How can you best serve low income customers while maintaining a business approach?
Information about metrics for sustainable rates and financing for utilities in Alabama, and a demonstration of the Alabama Water & Wastewater Rates Dashboard (2014 rates).