January 2014 rates. Select your utility's rates, or enter in your new rate structure's charges for 0 - 15,000 gallons/month for residential customers, and select the range of system sizes (number of accounts) you would like to benchmark your rates to. Five charts compare your rates and the ratio of your fixed (based, or "minimum") charges to the variable charges (those that are determined from the actual water volume use of the customer). The majority of your utility' expenses are fixed, but maximizing your base charges may lead to affordability issues since everyone pays the base charge. Balancing your fixed revenue and variable revenue is critical for your financial stability and customer service goals. This tool provides you information about your current (or proposed) rate structure's balance of those two revenues from residential customer charges, while benchmarking against other utilities of the same size.