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What is the Alabama Water & Wastewater Rates Dashboard?
This interactive Rates Dashboard is designed to assist utility managers and local officials analyze residential water and sewer rates of Alabama's utilities against multiple characteristics, including utility finances, system characteristics, customer base socioeconomic conditions, and geography. The EFC and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management collected and analyzed water and sewer rate structures for approximately 450 public service providers in Alabama.
April 2016 residential water, sewer, or water and sewer combined rates for 448 utilities across Alabama can be compared with:
- All other utilities in the State,
- Utilities of the same size,
- Utilities with similar revenue generation,
- Utilities in the same river basin,
- Utilities with the same water source,
- Utilities with the same rate structure,
- Utilities with same ownership type,
- Utilities serving communities with similar median household incomes,
- Utilities in the same Regional Council area, and
- Utilities within 25 miles
- Utilities within 50 miles
- Utilities within 100 miles
The following measures for the selected utility are compared to key indicators or to the utilities within the selected comparison group:
- Monthly water, sewer, or water and sewer combined bill for the selected consumption amount,
- Monthly bill for as % Median Household Income for the community,
- Conservation pricing signal, and
- Ratio of operating revenues to operating expenses (when available).
You can compare the monthly bill charged for any consumption level from 0 gallons/month to 15,000 gallons/month, at 500 gallon intervals. You can also raise rates by up to 50% and observe the (hypothetical) effects on the utility's rates, revenues and rate affordability. The average price for an SEC team versus SEC team football ticket, based on fall 2013 ticket prices at all 14 SEC schools, has been added for purposes of comparison.
In addition, system financial health and customer demographic profiles are provided for utilities where data are available.
New look and new functions!
For everyone who is familiar with the Rates Dashboard, you will notice that we have given it a new look and added many new features and functions in August 2016. We have added the following features and functions to the dashboard:
- An easier way to select your utility from the dropdown menu: now you can type in your utility's name.
- Ability to click on and select any utility on the map.
- Ability to edit your utility's data or add a new utility/rate structure to the dashboard. These edits and additions will be saved on your computer until you delete your cookies.
- You can now view your rates at 500 gallon/month increments between 0 and 15,000 gallons/month.
- Ability to observe the effects of raising rates by 100% (used to be by 50%).
- Much faster load and response times as you interact with the dashboard.
- Ability to load the dashboard on a tablet device (e.g. iPad).
- Numerous other function and aesthetic changes to improve the use and feel of the dashboard.
Between February 9th and March 7th, 2017, an error was displayed in the 2016 Alabama rates dashboard's calculations of block rate structures. If you used data from the dashboard during this time, we advise you to refresh your query. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns.
View a recording of a webinar demonstrating how to use the Alabama Water and Wastewater Rates Dashboard (June 2017)
Demonstration of the Alabama Water and Wastewater Rates Dashboard starts at 35:30 (after the thirty-fifth minute of the recording below).
You can also view a series of EFC at UNC Rates Dashboard Tutorials here.
ReportAnnual Report of Water and Sewer Rates and Rate Structures in Alabama - August 2016Tue, 08/09/2016
PowerpointDesigning Appropriate Rate Structures for Water and Wastewater Utilities in AlabamaTue, 06/27/2017
TablesTables of Water and Sewer Rates and Rate Structures in Alabama as of August 2016Fri, 06/09/2017
Rates data:Rates data for this dashboard were collected by the EFC in partnership with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. Each utility’s rates are standardized to monthly billing and thousands of gallons for the purposes of fair comparison on the dashboard
Demographic data: The American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates (2012-2016) from the US Census Bureau.
System characteristics, such as number of connections and water source type: Environmental Protection Agency's Safe Drinking Water Information System
Geographic: United States Geological Survey
We strive to include as many utilities in our surveys as possible, maintaining a minimum response rate of at least 80% of rate-charging utilities in each state. If your utility is not included on your state’s dashboard, it may be that a rate sheet was not received during the survey collection period, or clarifying questions went unanswered.
However, by utilizing the “Edit Data or Add Utility” button in the upper right corner of the Dashboard, you can temporarily compare your water rates against the existing utilities on the Dashboard. Please note that data are only available locally and will not be saved within the Dashboard.
Please contact Annalee Harkins. We will do our best to update your rates as soon as possible!
Data can be edited temporarily by utilizing the “Edit Data or Add Utility” button located in the upper right corner of the Dashboard. Please note that data are only available locally and will not be saved within the Dashboard.
Dials such as “Cost Recovery” and “Affordability” rely on supplemental data in making calculations. When supplemental data is not available for a utility, the message is displayed and the dial is blanked out.
Each dial has a “?” button which shows how the dial is calculated, the data used in the calculation, and a brief explanation of the dial’s purpose.
You may download a PDF report of water and sewer rates and rate structures in Alabama as of 2016 here.
For other data questions, please send a request to Annalee Harkins.
Rates Dashboards are primarily funded through contracts with state and Federal governments. If you are interested in a Rates Dashboard for your state, please contact Glenn Barnes.
Dashboards with annual contracts such as NC and GA are updated approximately the same time each year. Other states are updated on a per-contract basis.
Utilities may send corrections if their rates are incorrectly displayed on the dashboard. These corrections are implemented on a quarterly basis.